Archive for the ‘family’ Category

We’ve had Vanessa’s brother and family visiting.  It’s been a jolly time with them.  One thing we did was visit the Gravity Park trampoline park.  It has a grid of trampolines on the floor where you can jump from one to another.  You get moving fast enough to almost lose control sometimes.  (This is why you sign a waiver before you can play.)  There were also foam pits you could jump into.  Anyway, it was a lot of fun.  I tried to learn the old back flip that I never had the courage to do on our trampoline growing up, but still couldn’t get it.

This pond is out near our desert neighborhood for a brief time in the rainy season.

DesertPondKids

Me kids at the desert pond

This kid built a raft for the desert pond

This kid built a raft for the desert pond

DesertPondTriop

Found some reddish things in the pond…maybe triops?

After playing a cooperative firefighting board game called Flash Point, I came up with the idea of one called House Work.  You must clean up the childrens’ toys and take care of the other chores before the house is enveloped in utter chaos.  It’s almost impossible to win because as you’re cleaning up toys in one room, the 1-year-old is scattering toys in two other rooms…somehow simultaneously.  Look out!  It’s an outbreak of laundry coming from the kid who’s decided to throw clean clothes directly into the laundry basket.  Just like Pandemic, you almost never win.

We got to visit relatives and my uncle (super board game aficionado) was there.  We played 7 Wonders, a big ole empire-planning strategy game.  Pretty good, but with a high learning curve.  We also played Flash Point: Fire Rescue, a cooperative firefighting game similar to Pandemic.  Surprisingly, we actually won.  I hear that’s rare.  One pretty casual game that I found we liked a lot was Hamsterrolle.  It’s a bit like Jenga, played in a circular will with inward facing slats around the edge.  You’re trying to get rid of all your little wooden blocks by placing them on a wheel, making it slowly turn and eventually drop pieces out.  If you cause pieces to fall out, you have to pick them up.  Lots of tension and excitement in that game.  Oh, another casual game we played was Luck of the Draw.  Draw a random subject mentioned on a card and vote on some random criteria such as “most surprising” or “most angular”.  Pretty fun.

It’s funny how different siblings can be. Our first two kids hardly needed any child-proofing around the house. We told them not to get into things and they didn’t. They just weren’t interested. Kai (who’s 1), on the other hand, is continuosly trying to get into things he shouldn’t. Filling cups of water from the refrigerator door and dumping them on the floor, hiding under the bed and getting a handful of mentholatum, pulling books and dishes from the shelves, and making sure that all accessible shoes and toys are evenly distributed around the house. It’s like he’s making up for the ease of the other two kids.

I was just thinking.  You had 128 great-great-great-great-great grandparents.

Kai’s about 9 months old now.  He’s very hard to get to sleep.  Even if he’s sleeping, his right foot acts as an alarm when you lay him down.  When it touches the bed, he wakes up and starts crying.  He can be asleep and the foot will still paw at the air to make sure he’s still being held.  It’s quite frightening to lay him down, knowing there’s a 70% chance that he’ll detect it and wake up, and there goes another hour.

How do babies already know enough about physics to change their center of gravity, making them harder to pick up?

My Uncle David has passed away.  He was a good example of following your dreams.  Over time, he was an announcer for a circus and a travelling horse show with his professional presentation and voice abilities.  But he loved doing magic shows, so he made every effort to stick with that in the end.  We got to see him a couple of times in recent years and he’d love to do magic tricks for the kids.  But he was also a reminder of how fleeting life is.  This month, he had some testing done and found out he had cancer.  It was very aggressive and he was soon gone.  We’ll miss him.

His obituary can be found here.

For winter exercise, we got Everybody Dance.  It’s a Playstation game where you hold light bulb controllers and mimic dance moves on a camera.  It has the embarrassing option to record your dancing and upload it so that others can see it.  (From what I hear, Just Dance 3 is a better alternative for kids, without risque videos and songs.)  Anyway, it accomplishes the goal of getting some exercise nicely.  It teaches you more than Dance Dance Revolution did, since you’re not just stomping in a square pattern…not to say that I actually look like I’m dancing.  Here‘s a video of Mia and Sean.