Friday, January 18, 2013

Orange Belt

White belt turned...


Orange belt!


To prove he was worthy, Ethan had to face this panel of black belted masters:

Showing he knows his jabs and punches and kicks:

After proving the new skills he learned, he gets his new belt!


And here is the (long) belting ceremony.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013



We have gone on three day trips to Tahoe this season so far.  Last year when we went to Soda Springs Ethan tried out skiing on the bunny slope and had a lot of fun so we thought we would start ski lessons this year.  Boreal is one of the closer resorts to us and also one of the few that was open Thanksgiving weekend so we decided to try it out.  We started out with a half day lesson, and though Ethan said he liked it I wouldn't really recommend it.  The student/teacher ratio was large, and because there was so many students Ethan only got to go up the starter conveyor belt twice and up the lift once before his 3 hour lesson was up.  Most of the time he was sitting on the hill waiting for his turn to go down.  The one good benefit was that Ethan was excited to go up and down the lift all by himself which was something I thought he would be scared of.

We decided to continue at Boreal since they have a frequent rider program and because the green runs are easily accessible, but I think next year we will move to a bigger resort.  One nice feature at Boreal is if you get rentals you are allowed to switch one time and try out snowboarding as well.  So the second time we went up, Ethan tried skiing for a few hours and then we switched to snowboarding.

My mini boarder!

The rental line the second time around took over 2 hours so we headed and got Ethan some proper ski gear for future use.  Amy Mountain has a nice used ski program that allows for yearly trade ins so E is now the proud owner of some (new to him) skis!  Now we are ready for our next time up the mountain!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Typical Saturday

Our typical weekend day goes like this:

  • Ethan wakes up.  It's super early.  Like 5 AM early.  We toss an iPad to him in hopes that it will distract him long enough to give us a few more moments of rest.  This works 50% of the time.  He either plays quietly by himself for another half an hour or so (I know, I know, electronics are evil.  This is usually his only screen time of the day).  The other half of the time he claims he just wants to sleep with us and lies quietly jumps on top of either Bob or me.  Usually I'm the lucky recipient of his 'cuddling'.  Either way we usually are dragged awake shortly thereafter.  Forget getting those alarm clocks that roll away from you so you can't press the snooze button...we were blessed with a super early morning bird for a kid.
  • While still trying to wake up, we do some from of a morning craft.  This either involves embellishing something or replicating one of his favorite books.  Please see exhibit A, B, and C.  Our little perfectionist is super detailed oriented and wants things to be as realistic as possible.  He can often be heard saying 'It's okay, we can just make it out of paper and tape it on!'. 3M should be sending royalties to us for all the tape that we buy.

Exhibit A.  
Pretty much everything has to be exactly like Daddy's.  Bob has a mountain bike.  Unfortunately, you can't get one with 16" wheels so we tried our hand at replicating it.  If you think the back is ridic, you should see the front.  We have paper hand brakes, paper brake cables, paper cup holders and emergency pump, and plastic! reflectors taped onto the spokes.  Ethan is super proud of his 'mountain bike' and likes to chat with our neighbors about all its features.

We recently got Mazda SUV.

Which leads to Exhibit B:

The 'snow' on the windshield is a relic from a pretend trip to Tahoe.

Exhibit C.   
His most favorite book is Voyage Across the Cosmos.  We have read this book so many times it is falling apart. Since he loves this book so much he wanted to make everyone in the family our very own copy so we can all read it with him.  The book is 144 pages long people.  This was a summer long project.  Every day we drew and colored a few pages to add to our book (times three since we HAD to have one for Daddy, Mommy and YaYa).

  • Around 7 AM we have breakfast.  Gone are the days where he will willingly eat steel cut oatmeal (and yes, he used to love his oatmeal.  And fruit.  And milk.  All past tense).  He has these food phases which last a few months where he absolutely loves something and can have it ad nauseum.  As long as it's healthy-ish and meets most of the food groups, I'm fine with it. His new kick is waffles and we usually make a big batch of this mix so we can use it throughout the week.  We sub one cup of the whole wheat flour with half almond and half flax seed powder, nix all the oil and instead throw in a container of applesauce (or some other pureed fruit/vegetable) and extra dry milk powder when we mix it together with the wet ingredients.  So E does get his oatmeal and dairy (ha, the trickery!) and some form of fruit with his breakfast.
  • After eating a vat of waffles (seriously, he can eat twice his body weight if it is something he likes) we do some running and jumping on the trampoline.  Good thing we loaded up on carbs!

  • We make something else out of paper and tape.  Like this:

A replica of our iPad so that YaYa can play with one next to him.  The case was YaYa's Christmas present.  The inside scene in the iPad is from Fieldrunners which I may or may not have introduced him to.

  • If there is a Home Depot workshop we go to that (his favorite part of the workshop is painting the finished object), followed by some class.  We are currently taking Karate which E loves much more than he did soccer.

  • We have lunch and then head home.  Where we make something out of paper and tape.  (Sensing a pattern here?).

A story about a girl and a bear and an apple that he heard at school.  The title is 'I like red apples'.

  • We go biking.  Ethan loves loves loves biking.  We do a 3 mile loop every afternoon along the Guadalupe trail.  Last October when Nai Nai came to visit, Ethan asked to take off his training wheels.  We put them in my bike basket and unfortunately it promptly tipped over and the screws that held together his training wheels rolled down an open grate.  Luckily, Ethan picked up riding super quickly so we just pedaled back home and never needed them since.

  • Bob may or may not drag us to Costco.  Seeing as that is his favorite place on earth we probably do end up going.  Since Ethan likes to push around the cart and/or look for new books and I like the samples it's not a hard sell.  If we do not run errands we usually head to a local playground.
  • We come home and do some more running/jumping/paper crafting.  
  • Dinner is around 5:30 PM, and then it's shower and bed an hour later.  
  • Day over!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Some of the things we did this month.

We built a gingerbread house:
Making the house.

Decorating the rooftops.

The finished masterpiece.

Being silly.

This is not Christmas-y, but E's favorite activity this month was making a volcano.  It was also an exercise in patience since we had to wait between each step to let things dry.  Remind me of this event before our next car trip ride.
The pasterering of the mountain was the most fun part.

Ta da!

All painted.

Ready for the eruption!  (Slightly underwhelming but apparently not if you do it 49 million times in a row).  

Had a Christmas pageant:


Wrote a letter to Santa (love the I think sometimes I was a good boy part - that's a lot of qualifying statements ;) ):

Favorite Christmas craft (this kit from Michaels was amazing.  It entertained E for an hour while he put it together and then he played with it for hours on end having Santa shuttle presents from the fireplace to the tree):


Yeh Yeh and Nai Nai came to visit!  We tried our hand at crabbing.  This time at the Pacifica Pier in hopes of catching some dungeness crab, but alas the water was so choppy our nets just kept being dragged away.  
It was a beautiful sunny day!

Helping carry the gear.  Definitely making the nice list this year!

Finding the rainbows in the waves.

Requisite big headed shot.

The boys just hanging out.

Pulling in the net.

Watching the birds.

We visited Christmas in the Park in San Jose:

Some of the displays.  The nutcracker is especially cute no?

Getting a great view of everything from up high.  Where we quickly spotted all the rides and of course had to  go on them.  ALL of them.

First Ferris ride.  I was hyperventilating. E was cool as a cucumber.  No big deal, we were just floating in the air on a wobbly makeshift contraption that was probably put together in under an hour.

Favorite ride.

and finally, we got to open our presents!  E patiently waited till 6 AM before waking us up (which is a whole extra hour of sleep than a typical day.  Bonus!  We told him Santa needed extra time to deliver all the presents.  Now, what can we do to get him to wake up later every day?)

The tree.


Since E is always nice and never naughty he got his Percy train set from Santa.

Helping everyone open their presents.  ;)

Hugs and kisses to Nai Nai and Yeh Yeh for their super cool light up Lego tow truck!


Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy New Year!