Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ami's Birthday

Amiel turns 5

A bug catcher/observer from Auntie Bridgie and Uncle Miks

Unwrapping the new (cardboard) dulcimer

playing the new "ax"

July 22nd was a happy day filled with much anticipation and glee. Auntie Bridgie's prezzie was the first to arrive in the mail so it got the excitement working long in advance of the day itself! Ami was SO pleased with all of the packages that kept arriving in the post. He said that he didn't want a party because he didn't want anyone to make a "fuss" over him for his birthday.

He opened up his prezzies before Martin left for work at SF General Hospital and he was super happy with all that he received.
We spent the first part of the day around the house. In the afternoon we made a plan to go swimming with some friends. However, Ami had to swap that for playing with Simon and Francis here at our apartment building while I made a trip to the emergency department as Mimi stuck a bead up her nose!!! I didn't actually see her do it but she told Katie what she had done. She only realized the gravity of the situation when Katie's reaction seemed somewhat panicked! Mimi really doesn't like to get in trouble. Ami stayed to play with Simon and Francis and Katie thankfully came to the hospital with us. Mary Anne happened to be working as a volunteer chaplain at the hospital that day so she met us for some pastoral care! Miriam did not want anyone to look up her nose but i was able to see it after she fell asleep in the car . . . It was Blue (the bead that is!). The hospital staff looked after us well and we seemed to get pretty fast service. Mimi had all her vital signs taken and we got ushered into a small room. There we were visited by a nice nurse who valiantly tried to look up Mimi's nose but to no avail. We saw some pretty sorry folk in other beds and were glad that we were not in their state. The nurse kept coming back and was explaining to me what we were going to have to do to get the bead out and it sounded like it was going to be rather a struggle. . .
Then Mimi and I read a book or two and AAAAHCHIEWWWWW the way-larger-than-i-expected bead came out with a big sneeze. No one was more pleased then Miriam! "I sneeeezed it out" she said.
I don't think she will be putting anything up her nose any time soon . . . . as for beading, it is fast becoming one of her favourite activities.

When we got back from the hospital Katie had a surprise for Ami- a treasure hunt to find his present from her and Mary Anne. She had set out envelopes with "clue pictures" inside of where to find the next "clue envelope". The last picture was of their apartment door where in the livingroom there was a present with a yellow tool box inside. It even had an engraved name tag for "Amiel Digger". He said, "Oh, I am so proud of this present"!

In the end the birthday celebrations included having the chose guests Mary Anne and Katie over for dinner of Lasagna (just what Ami ordered up for his special day!) and then chocolate cake with chocolate icing and homemade peppermint ice-cream that he and Katie had made the day before. I couldn't imagine not having others around for cake and ice-cream so I went against his wishes and invited other neighbours to have dessert and celebrations with us. I think that once he got past having "happy birthday" sung to him he was very happy to have everyone there. Nothing like a party!!
The trouble with having a birthday is that now that you are 5 you have to do all the things you said you would do when you were 5- like driving an excavator etc.- when in actuality not too much has really changed. . . .

here he is opening the Morphibian Car

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summertime 2009 Adventuring

It won't be long before September will bring Kindergarten for Amiel so we are making efforts to do as much adventuring as possible before our new schedule kicks in! The kids got a head start on this with the arrival of Kate Hutchinson who came with Liam to look after us while I was busy with my course. While I was busy in beautiful San Rafael...

they managed to fit in all sorts of things that I haven't got around to doing! They went to the Cal Botanical Gardens, ALL of the Berkeley Farmers' Markets , rode on the train at Tilden Park, and generally had a whopping good time I hear!
When my course was over we did some more adventuring with Kate and Liam- to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park ( I took over a friend's membership as she moved home to LA).What the kids seemed to like best was OUTSIDE the building. . . .

We also got to introduce Kate and Liam to the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Amiel is now too tall for the "tot spot" which is a big achievement I'd say. He had a different view on this and luckily the person who was guarding the "spot" from big kids (so that babies have a safe place to roll around) gave him permission to take Kate on a little tour of it. Unfortunately the room that I like best (blue water bed mattresses with lily-pad cushions on them) was under construction so I assume that next time we go (after the yearly closure and general fix up) it will be wholly new and exciting for Mimi (at least). I stayed out of the Tot Spot with Liam and we did some chalk drawing which was fun.

K and L left on the train back to Canada on the wednesday night. Liam was VERY glad to be heading home and I think Kate was too after being here for 2 weeks!

Since they left A and M and I have been doing our own adventuring. We visited the Bay Area Vivarium which is in Berkeley. It is a shop but it is a good destination for looking at reptiles, lizards, and creepy crawlies! We saw this awesome Blue Tongued Skink and this most amazing Crocodile Monitor. I veered them away from the Monitor cages when they were being fed peeping baby chicks. . . I didn't want to be scarred let alone my kids! Some other kids who were there at the same time as us unwittingly watched nature take its course and I was glad that I had taken the necessary precautions to avoid this for us!

We also went to the Adventure Playground which Ami aptly named the Inventure Playground where you can go and get yourself some tools and nails and add or subtract to the structures that have been built by kids for 30 years now! Mimi likes to do painting of the structures best. These are pictures from the internet. . .

The sun is really intense here and so mid-day seems to be a rather slow time for us. Last week we were joined by a classmate of mine, Sarah Paden, from my Anat Baniel course. She is also a soprano with red hair and I seem to remember seeing her about 6 years ago at UBC when she was participating in the Early Music Vancouver Workshops. Small world. We went up to Tilden Park, had a nice picnic on the grass, went on the Nature Walk, and also visited the Little Farm. We saw awesome red dragonflies zooming over a little woodsy lake there

and turtle sunning themselves on the logs. We came back home after trying to play at the playground but the kids just sat in the sandbox looking dazed. The sun was too much! When we got home the kids busied themselves with playing with neighbours and Sarah and I were able to do some Anat Baniel work to refresh our memories and to get a nice lesson in too!

that's all i can think of for now. . .