November 24 – December 20, 2016

I really am sorry. I don’t know how an entire month goes by before I post again. Or rather I do, but I’m always surprised when it happens again. But  I think you’ll agree that these were worth the wait.

First up, a view inside the cave! That’s what they call their pillow fort. They don’t go inside every single evening any more, but it’s still a popular place to hang out.

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And speaking of places to hang out: we’re still visiting the Museum of Science at least once a month. And in between visits, Linus talks about it nonstop, so we end up planning another visit. Which is just fine with us. We all enjoy it when we go, and it’s free! MathWorks gives the museum a lot of money each year, so every employee has a card that lets us (plus family) get in free whenever we want.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

I like how Linus is sneaking off somewhere in the background of this photo. In fact, I think I was with him, showing him an area where you can simulate the movement of a bird’s wings.

Museum of Science

All of those expensive exhibits, and Linus just keeps going back to this thing. Luckily he hasn’t yet figure out what it actually does, so he doesn’t ask us to smash quarters. Yet.

Museum of Science

Linus is starting to get interested in dinosaurs. His favorite books are the ones that somehow manage to combine dinosaurs and trucks.

Yes, the T-Rex is wearing a scarf. He puts it on each winter.

Museum of Science

Mina is completely mobile now, and goes around the museum on her own, checking out the exhibits.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

“Anh hai! What’s this thing? How does it work?!”

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

Linus is definitely going to be an engineer. He loves watching the motors and gears, and when things move he studies them to see how they’re happening. Unfortunately he also gets frustrated easily (as I do) when he can’t figure it out quickly. But there’s time to learn how to handle that better.

Museum of Science

This piece here is his second favorite thing in the museum. It’s a giant steam engine. It doesn’t move, but I think he stands in front of it, imagining.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

Our little man. Why can’t he stay small forever? He’s really interested in storytelling right now. Whenever he’s getting ready to go to sleep – naptime or nighttime – he and Yen lie in bed and tell stories to each other. Mostly remembering the day, but sometimes thinking back to memorable events. Linus often tells the story of going to the museum and seeing machines doing interesting things.

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Of course there’s more than just the Museum of Science. Here’s our sophisticated gentleman waiting for the train to take him to the aquarium.

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After the aquarium on this particular day, we walked around Boston a bit so we could see the Christmas tree in Faneuil Hall. We always forget there’s also this carousel!

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I’m sure I write this in ever post, but Mina is still a terrific eater. Whatever we set in front of her, she bravely gives it a shot. And she really doesn’t like to be fed with a spoon. She’s got favorites, naturally. Strawberries, which she’s eating here, are always a big hit.

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We found a little reservation not too far from our house that has a huge boardwalk – something like 1500 feet straight through a wetland.

Mary French reservation, Andover

Mary French reservation, Andover

Some parts are in better condition than others, but we still made it through.

Mary French reservation, Andover

Mary French reservation, Andover

Yen takes the kids to the library every Monday. During the school year, there’s a story hour they attend. But for the last month, that’s been on a break so they just choose books and wander around. Right now we have 32 library books checked out!

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Miss Mina is finally getting more teeth. You can see them just poking through in this photo, but as I write this, she’s got four on top and three on the bottom. I think the last one on the bottom will be here soon too.

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This has scared me a couple of times: you go to pick up the laundry basket and there’s a little face looking back!

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Remember when Mina was little and she wouldn’t let Yen hold her? She’s completely Cha-Cha’s girl now. We think she even says his name. Mostly she runs around yelling, “Baa!” But when she sees him, there’s a shorter little sound she makes that is probably, “Cha!”

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Linus loves Mina so much – even though she’s a truck-stealing pest.

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Ugh. She loves climbing the stairs. She’s very good at it. But she’s also nearing the age when Linus fell down the stairs. We still don’t have gates up, but now it’s because I’m convinced it would be dangerous for Linus (he would hang on them – you know he would). So we’re just trying to keep an eye out and counting down until we can start to teach her to go down on her own.

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Here’s a video too:

Even though it’s winter, we’re still trying to get out for walks as often as we can. This was a particularly cold Sunday when we regretted it almost immediately. But a short walk is better than none.

Great Meadow national wildlife refuge, Concord

Mostly we’re just taking advantage of all of the museums. This one is the Harvard Natural History Museum, which is free to Massachusetts residents on Sunday mornings.

With Chris, Tanya and Hannah @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

With Chris, Tanya and Hannah @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

With Chris, Tanya and Hannah @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

Behind Linus is Hannah, my friend Tanya’s little girl. Linus loves her. It was heartbreaking to watch him trying to communicate with him because she doesn’t understand Vietnamese. He kept having ideas, “Hey, let’s go climb the stairs!” but she couldn’t understand. Still, they had a nice time playing together. She clearly is a natural leader, and Linus just fell in line.

With Chris, Tanya and Hannah @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

Here she is again demonstrating moose antlers.

We’re very excited to learn that Tanya is expecting another little girl in April!

With Chris, Tanya and Hannah @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

Mina has apprenticed herself to Linus so she can learn how to be a laundress. Also, this outfit really gets me. She looks like a little Christmas present!

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Sometimes Mina joins Linus in the laundry basket – usually because he yelled, “In there!” until someone picked her up and put her in with him. Then they both look up all doe-eyed until one of us gives in and pushes them around.

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Linus gets jealous of Mina’s accessories sometimes.

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I’m not sure where she got this little basket, but she’s been carrying it around the house like a little purse.

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One night Yen was spreading lotion on Linus’s face before bed, and Linus yelled, “Stop! It’s handsome enough!”

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Yup. That’s banana on her head. The universal sign that the meal is over.

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Back at the MOS! This time they all got inside of the sewer exhibit, and I watched from outside.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

Museum of Science

Yeah… We’ll work on being ladylike when she’s older. Or I’ll just dress her in pants all the time!

Museum of Science

The great thing about these museum excursions is everyone is exhausted after lunch. Long, long naps give everyone a little break.

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Hello! Mina is really into peekaboo right now.

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And Linus is still baking as much as I’ll let him. Here we took a break to play with the cooling rack.

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This hat… It’s Linus’s winter hat. It took a while to find one that fits. And then Mina adopted it as her lovey. She hasn’t insisted that we let her sleep with it yet, but she hauls it all over the house during the day. It’s a wonder she lets him wear it outside.

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Mina often has a little scowl. She’s very intense.

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Yen bought this gear toy for Linus ages ago, and then had to build little creations for him. Suddenly this month, though, Linus has started doing the building. They’re not always structurally sound, but they’re always intricate. And he’s always very proud.

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Sometimes Mina simply disappears. She can almost always be found sitting quietly by herself under the dining table.

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“Ugh. Another walk?! It’s cold!”

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This is Linus’s monkey face. If you say, “Monkey face!” he makes it right away.

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Where is Mina hiding? Has anyone seen Mina?

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Back to the aquarium! We went the Sunday before Christmas and found it completely deserted. It was wonderful to have the place to ourselves.

New England aquarium

New England aquarium

New England aquarium

This is at the top of the big four-story tank in the middle. Mina was watching them feed the sea turtles.

New England aquarium

New England aquarium

Mina is our little puppy. She wanders around the house all the time using her mouth as a third hand. Sometimes she carries a wedge of apple that she plans to eat later, but sometimes it’s just an extra toy.

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See? She got the hat back again.

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