Sunday, September 7, 2008

Starting week 3

We're starting week 3 with most of our things! We arrived home this afternoon to 6 of the 7 boxes we were still waiting for. I hope #7 comes soon because it has things like my kitchen knives in it and other kitchen essentials. We are regretting not arriving here earlier in the summer - there hasn't been enough time to set up our house properly and now that Martin is in school I am very limited as to when i can do things to make our house "ours" and shop for the things we need. Oh well. I will just have to be zen about it all.

We were away this weekend at the CDSP first years' camp weekend at a place called St. Dorothy's Rest up in the hills north of the Bay area. It was a great way to get to know people a bit better, for some colleagues of Martin's to get to know the kids and to be looked after and cooked for. It was a lovely location and setting. As i have mentioned before... I really had no idea before coming to California that the terrain was so incredibly hilly. St Dorothy's rest is situated on the highest point of land in the immediate area but i think it must include the lowest point of land at the same time. The drop-off from the main house is really attention-getting! Not the best location for little people really. It would be very easy to tumble down a ravine off a path. The beautiful thing is that because of the ravine you feel like you are a bird among the trees when you look out from the buildings.
The weekend weather was very warm and our drive up on Friday afternoon was stiflingly hot. I don't do too well under these circumstances so I was so delighted to learn that there was a pool at St Dorothy's Rest!! It reminded me so much of the pool at the ranch and seemed to be exactly the same size and everything - I'm sure that it was relatively the same size as when i was a kid!
Amiel came swimming with me and loved it too. My core temperature was restored to "wonderfully cool" but i had to be very careful with Ams because i think we was verging on hypothermia! luckily i bundled him up and the air was still very very warm!
Another great aspect of this weekend away was that there were other kids present, including Francis and Simon. Francis is really wonderful with both Ami and Mimi and they both adore her. and it is a big help to me if she is willing/interested in hanging out with them!

On Friday the kids and I stumbled on a fun find 2 blocks from our house. We were over viewing the construction site at UC Berkeley and decided to explore a courtyard of the building were were hanging out in front. We enjoyed the shenanigans of a squirrel, tried to feed it nuts and then found that the courtyard actually took us to the next street. What did we find there? A beach volleyball court!! Yeah!! the biggest sandbox ever (apart from the real beach). We spent a bit of time there digging and such and vowed to bring back supplies for a fun time.

The box from Uncle Panos has arrived and in it was the desired red excavator and lowbed truck. It is a BIG hit and a beautiful toy - all metal. The excavator's name is Mr. Red Digger. When the delivery guy arrived we were playing with water outside and Ami was so engaged in the water that I think he even forgot that he's been eagerly awaiting its arrival for weeks! (he's been letting delivery guys know that in case they are wondering, we live in number 7 and Uncle Panos sent us a red digger and... etc etc)

The drive back from St. Dorothy's rest today included the Richmond Bay bridge which goes from North of Berkeley over to San Quentin/San Rafael. It is amazingly beautiful (see image at top of this post!) and the view is incredible. I think i will have to go on the harbour ferry soon if i can find out more about it!

Quotes and Cutes
The arrival of (most of) the toys is like Christmas for the kids. They have them in their room (how novel is this!) and they are busy making games with them (ferries and diggers are wonderful play companions) Their room looks fun and colourful now which is great. The digging tools have already been put to good use and a hole has started in the courtyard.
Both kids seem older from their weekend away. I always find that being away (in a new environment) changes them in ways that are much more tangible then with adults.

"I'm growing hair on my legs! Why am I growing hair on my legs? i don't want hair on my legs!"
"I am full of ideas"
"we are putting on a musical show" (at St Dorothy's Rest after having explored the wonderful possibilities of the extensive costume cupboard)
Very chatty. Loves to share his passions with others!

mimics everything like crazy - both in voice and gesture. ( i think she was trying out the word "watermelon" this evening) She has LOTS to say. Still gets very frustrated when she feels like an injustice has been wrought against her.
Her hair is problematic. She really needs it to be pulled back but is resistant to the means by which i can do that... out comes the elastic band... does this mean that i will have to cut it?

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