January 24 – March 1, 2018

Winter continues, and so do the complex LEGO structures. I do love weekend mornings when Linus and I are up before Yen and Mina, and we sit together making and destroying everything we can think of.

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Charmer!

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Hm… What should I do next?

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Yep, still reading Curious George every chance she gets. She likes to read to herself, but she also will plop down in your lap and say, “Bead a book!” [not a typo]

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She’s acting out little scenes with animals and people more now, though. One evening we sat together at the kitchen table while she played with Linus’s rocket. She would open the door, bring the astronaut up the steps, slam the door, pick it up and wiggle it around saying, “Fly fly fly!” Then it came down again and she repeated the process.

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Miss Sassypants for sure!

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Yen gave Linus an old loupe to play with. He’s having a lot of fun checking out all kinds of details. One of his favorite things to examine is my fingernails, which makes me terribly conscious of the fact that I haven’t had a manicure in a literal year.

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Mina has started posing for photos. And then she insists on seeing the result.

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I guess Yen was playing with filters? If you want to see Mina feeding Linus in color, you’re in luck: there’s a video below!

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We keep thinking we’re ready to sell the set that includes the train tracks and cars you see here. But we just can’t bring ourselves to do it now that he’s combining it with his other toys to build these complex contraptions.

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Linus heard his friend Ilse talking about the idea of a half-birthday and got right on board. Their birthdays are just days (and a year) apart, so we decided to actually celebrate. Here’s my friend Heidi with Ilse’s little sister, Ida. She’s so stinking serious and cute!

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And here’s Linus taking Ilse for a ride. He absolutely refuses to say her name, probably because of the “L.” He calls her “that friend.” As in, “I’d really like to go to the museum again with that friend.” and “I wonder if that friend would like to go to the zoo?”

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Another of Miss Ida, who is a reminder of Mina: so teeny tiny that when you see her standing, you think, “She can’t possibly…” but then she does!

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I asked Linus what kind of birthday cake he wanted for his half-birthday. We stood in the local bakery and I listed off the options. When I got (improbably, as it was February) to “ice cream,” he shouted out. So an ice cream cake it was.

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Mina wasn’t sure what was happening, but she was on board!

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There’s that friend’s dad back there, Stephen.

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Mina, who doesn’t usually have a sweet tooth or much tolerance for cold food, really tucked in.

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I really like this one: twin expressions of, “What?!”

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And then, festivities over, back to work!

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It was a busy weekend for us because the next day, we had lunch with our neighbors. I can’t believe how tall these kids are now! Linus and Mina get so excited when they come over.

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Why, yes, Miss Mess is wearing big-girl underwear in this photo! She’s almost totally graduated from diapers – at least during the day. Even Linus still wears them at night as back-up, so no worries there. Of course, we can’t find a company that makes them small enough for her teeny bum, so they’re rather baggy. Of course the effect is adorable.

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I’m so happy and touched by how these kids get along. Sure, sometimes Linus screams at her to go away. And Mina still tries to bite from time to time. But mostly they’re a duo.

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There’s a theme here… Mina has declared war on pants. Often she’ll just announce, “No pants!” and off the come.

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We had an awfully mild winter, really. It was quite cold – colder than we’re used to in New England. But not much snow. Until February and now March… Doesn’t matter, though. We have the best shoveler in town!

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Mina talks loudly and carries a small shovel.

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I love this! Linus is finally strong enough to pull Mina. That means I get to stay inside and drink tea, right?

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Here’s Miss Mess jamming to some Aqua.

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We took a mini vacation to DC over Presidents’ Day weekend. The kids loved the hotel, especially the view. Linus keeps saying, “I think we should go back to that hotel. They had snacks.”

Hampton Inn NOMA Union Station, Washington DC

Hampton Inn NOMA Union Station, Washington DC

 

Washington DC

The weather wasn’t too bad (although I think the locals disagreed). It was sunny for the most part, and we were able to get out and just roam around. By the way, yes, I cut all of my hair off again. Who has time for hair?!

Washington DC

Washington DC

Washington DC

Washington DC

Washington DC

Washington DC

We weren’t planning to go to the American History Museum, but two ladies at the hotel breakfast mentioned that the first floor of it has lots of transportation items. Linus loved it – he is still asking to go back.

Museum of American History, Washington DC

Museum of American History, Washington DC

We assumed his favorite part would be the train section, and he did love it…

Museum of American History, Washington DC

Museum of American History, Washington DC

Museum of American History, Washington DC

But what he really loved were the exhibits on early experiments with electricity. So now the debate is: is he a controls engineer, a mechanical engineer, or electrical?

Museum of American History, Washington DC

Then of course the Air and Space Museum was a huge hit.

National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC

National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC

National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC

National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC

Mina was more excited about being outside of the museums, playing on the grass.

Washington DC

Washington DC

Washington DC

Sunday we went to the National Zoo so Mina could see the pandas. I think she spent 20 minutes just staring at them.

National Zoo, Washington DC

National Zoo, Washington DC

National Zoo, Washington DC

The fox was a big hit too, especially considering her new favorite song.

National Zoo, Washington DC

The Metro station by the zoo is so scary! Huge escalator, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack keeping them from tumbling down. Yen took pity on me and we took the elevator on the way back down.

Woodley Park-Zoo station, Washington DC

Washington DC

Apologies: I know this is a lot of leg! But Mina does love pretending to fly while I hold her.

Washington DC

We stayed near Union Station, so the kids go to explore it each time we set out to go somewhere.

Union Station, Washington DC

Not pictured: our last day. We planned to hit more museums, but through a comedy of errors, ended up spending the entire day at the Baltimore airport. It really turned out to be kind of fun. But no camera, as it was already packed.

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The next weekend, the weather was actually mild enough for a visit to Castle Island.

Castle Island, Boston

Castle Island, Boston

I’m so happy these kids get to grow up near the ocean. Linus just stopped biking at one point to consider it.

Castle Island, Boston

Castle Island, Boston

Castle Island, Boston

Mina is getting better and better on her bike. She just needs more practice. She does fine for a while, and then she starts yelling, “Mina will fall!”

Castle Island, Boston

Castle Island, Boston

Castle Island, Boston

This is from the Mirror Maze – did you see the video?

Museum of Science, Boston

Museum of Science, Boston

Mina has become a little obsessed with watching the eggs hatch at the Museum of Science.

Museum of Science, Boston

Museum of Science, Boston

Museum of Science, Boston

Museum of Science, Boston

Yen took the kids back to Story Hour after a few months absense. Mina made this little hat and then wore it nonstop for two days.

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I asked Yen the other day when he thinks Linus will start taking things apart around the house. “As soon as he’s strong enough.”

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Two zoos in one month! This is back at home at the local one.

Stone Zoo, Stoneham

Co Ba came with the kids and Yen to the zoo. She helped Mina pretend to be a little penguin.

Stone Zoo, Stoneham

Stone Zoo, Stoneham

Stone Zoo, Stoneham

Stone Zoo, Stoneham

Stone Zoo, Stoneham