November 1 – November 5, 2017
Onward! To the living room! Have I mentioned that the kids play together pretty well now? Most of the time Linus sees Mina as a useful little sidekick. Sometimes she bites him and things go horribly wrong. But we all get over it. My poor gentle Linus doesn’t know what to make of a mighty woman.
I got the kids more foam masks. Mina is particularly attached to the panda (worn here fashionably upside down).
Halloween! But wait (you’re thinking), isn’t Halloween in October? It was delayed until November 3 here in Billerica. On October 30 we got a massive storm – basically a little isolated hurricane. Trees were down all over the Boston area, and more than 100,000 people were out of power for almost a week. Our town (and a few others) decided to delay Halloween in order to give people more time to clean up – so kids wouldn’t trip over branches in the dark. My kids don’t know a Tuesday from a Sunday, so they sure didn’t care.
Note the spiderwebs on our railing. Linus was obsessed with spiderwebs this year. Every day on the way home we have to drive on a little tour of the neighborhood looking for them. Or we would set out on evening walks to see if we could find any. One of Mina’s first complex sentences was (in Vietnamese), “The spiderwebs have all blown away.” In the end I couldn’t resist and bought some for him to put up at our house. He was rather angry when they came down.
Now on to Mina’s costume. It’s the family heirloom, of course! This is Jenny’s old costume, worn by David, Ruby, Linus, and now Mina. I just realized we skipped Henry! He’s way too big for it now, of course. Doesn’t matter: you can’t beat his costume!
So with the notes above, now you understand the costume that Grandma made for Linus: a spider! We’re trying to make sure he’s not nervous around them (as I was for most of my life) by playing up what neat little engineers they are. It seems to be working because he likes them very much now. Grandma did an outstanding job with this costume!
Here are the little hikers out for a jaunt the next morning. Mina is fully decked out in Linus’s old clothes. I kept glancing down at her and thinking, “There’s Linus.”
We forgot to bring birdseed! This is the spot where, if you bring sunflower seeds, the little chickadees and titmouses will land right on your hand and snatch away seeds. I’m not sure the kids would have been able to stand still enough, but they would have enjoyed watching me do it. Next time for sure.
This is also a great destination because it gives Yen a chance to remind us that he doesn’t just take great kid photos.
But yeah, the kid photos are pretty great.
I was so proud of Mina on this hike. She never asked to be carried. We did pick her up around some muddy bits, but even when we had to climb around the big boulders, she just figured it out!
Another Christmas card preview, I think. I suspect it will actually be a New Year’s card. We are heading out for a long vacation on December 7, returning December 24. So if I don’t finish it up before then, you’ll have to wait!
Maybe Linus’s glare wasn’t quite so intense. That’s a way to tell them apart, I gues.
If you’re thinking, “Wow, most of these are of Mina!” That’s because these kids hike at very different rates. Usually I run (literally) ahead with Linus, and Yen stays back with Mina. I must say I enjoy those times alone with him because he waxes on about strategies to protect himself from dogs, trains he’d like to build, and food he’d like to eat.
Our final outing of the weekend was to Mt Auburn Cemetery. Yen and I used to go there often before the kids were born. I wasn’t sure whether it’s appropriate to let little kids play in a cemetery, even one as beautiful and parklike as this one (it was designed by the same man who designed Central Park). Yen said that he would be happy if one day a little kid plays on his gravestone, and that decided it. I’m glad we went, because they really enjoyed it. And also because it may have been our last mild day of the year – definitely worth enjoying outside.
This looks posed, but Mina actually sat down here and patiently looked at Yen until he took a photo. I guess she’s gotten used to the routine now.
Meanwhile, Linus and I played a game of swatting a bunch of weeds that had gone to seed so it looked as if it was snowing. He’s so excited for winter!
Mt Auburn is full of ancient trees that have grown into strange shapes – perfect for a kid to climb on.
This is an enormous Japanese maple – so large that it’s formed a sort of cave inside. If you crouch down (or are under 3 feet tall), you can just walk inside and then stand up.
Here they are on the branches of that same maple. I confess: I made them stand still and pose for this. Their natural state would be scampering up like little monkeys.
My handsome Nana! I think his beauty is heightened by his perpetual bed-head. That hair refuses to be tamed! Even if we wash it and then carefully comb it down flat, it immediately pops up again when it’s dry. The other day at the grocery store, Yen said a woman offered Linus a sample, saying, “And this is for the little boy with bed-head.”
Mina really loved the gravestones. She lounged against them, hugged them, patted them. I hope the owners didn’t mind terribly.
We almost got a nice one! Linus wouldn’t put that stick down. We’ll keep trying! And maybe one day we’ll get one with Yen. Cross your fingers.