May 14 – June 12, 2018

Another month of bliss with these kids. Yen said to me one day as we climbed into the car for another evening hike, “I have everything I want in life.”

Well, perhaps everything but pedals. Linus continues to resist adding them to his bike.

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But maybe that’s OK. Mina is finally starting to really master her little bike, and she’d be beside herself if Linus was able to get too far ahead of her. Maybe at this rate they’ll both add pedals next Spring. Meanwhile Mina has been trying out Linus’s coasting technique, complete with, “Wheeeee!”

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When the weather is bad during the day, Yen has been taking the kids to a tramponline park to bounce their sillies out.

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And of course there are always shopping expeditions to Wegman’s. No, she didn’t end up taking it home.

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I’m not sure where this was taken, honestly. Yen takes them on so many little adventures while I’m at work that it could really be anywhere. Still, it’s a reminder that Mina is getting more interested in tackling projects with her hands these days. I’m not sure she’s quite the natural engineer that Linus is, but she loves to build little houses with his magna-tiles. Then she’ll describe the building: “This is where Mina sleeps. This is where Cha-Cha sleeps…”

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Water table, water table, all day long. The only rule is you have to wear underwear if the neighbors are also outside. We don’t want to frighten Mr. Piso (though I’m sure he’s seen it all many times before – he has 17-year-old triplets and a 14 year-old self-described “surprise”).

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A month on, this photo feels so ancient! Ba Noi went back to Vegas for her springtime doctor appointments, so Yen invented some creative solutions for napping (when Ba Noi or (or I) is around, napping is a divide-and-conquer affair). The most effective turned out to be this one, in which Mina sleeps in her own room and Linus sleeps on the ancient mattress that we use as a trampoline. As I write this, though, they have outgrown naps! I miss them terribly on weekends, when Linus cuddles up with me and then announces, “I’d rather play!”

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Not sure what brought it on, but one day Linus decided the attic needed investigating. He was rather proud of overcoming his fear to check it out.

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I may have already posted this, but it’s worth sharing again. Even strangers tell me sometimes how much Mina reminds them of the cartoon character Dora, with their twin sensible haircuts. And hey! They’re both bilingual!

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Hangin’ at the park in his too-small jacket. Little man is getting so tall so fast.

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This month’s collection is a bit of a hodge-podge, as Yen has been using his phone camera more than his big camera. So we’ll pop in quickly to see a single photo from the Museum of Science, where the kids tried out sleeping in the lunar module…

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And then back out again for a nice close-up of Miss Mina.

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The weather has been decent in the evenings, so we’re still doing hikes as often as we can. I honestly can’t remember now whether this was evening or weekend, but there they were – out in their boots and tromping along.

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Hiking has really made these kids confident on their feet. They scamper up the rocks and over roots like little goats, and almost never fall down.

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Mina’s all-out runs means her feet don’t even touch the ground.

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Now a couple of loungy shots of Mina. This one is over at Co Ba’s house, snuggled up on the couch.

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And now back home for a nap – who sleeps like that?!

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This little spot is just ten minutes from our house. It’s definitely not our favorite hike, as it parallels a very busy highway. But when we’re short on time, it does the trick. Of course the hike time is shortened further as we wait for the kids to chuck rocks into the water.

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Don’t think for a moment that Mina didn’t put this outfit together. In fact, she does four or five wardrobe changes every day. “This outfit is so this morning!” Of course she doesn’t say that, but it’s exactly what she is thinking. In reality it’s more like, “Mina go upstairs, get Minaself new shirt.” I am not looking forward to the day when she picks up pronouns. The way she talks is so cute. The other night she said to me, “Can Mina have mozzarella? And Cha-Cha will say, ‘What Mina eating?’ and Mina will say, ‘Mozzarella!'” Of course she says it like, “mozzarellya.”

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The kids do really like this moment on the next-to-the-road hike: someone has placed two chairs up on a cliff where they can overlook the highway. Every time I drive by on the way home, I think, “Those are the chairs!”

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This can’t possibly be comfortable.

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The birthday obsession continues. I believe this time we were celebrating Yen’s half birthday. I can’t imagine what a big deal it’s going to be when Linus’s real birthday comes up in a few weeks.

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Here’s a Mina-eye view of a giant slide in Arlington. She was so proud that she’d gone all the way down… on Yen’s lap. But Linus did it by himself!

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A little shopping at Trader Joe’s. That place sure knows how to cater to little kids.

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Playdoh party! Linus looks as if he’s explaining, and Mina is dazzled by his technique.

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After they made little cakes, they insisted that he get candles for them. When I heard the story, I made him put the matches in an even higher cabinet. They’re both just a little too interested in candles.

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We bought a state park parking pass this summmer, and Yen and the kids are definitely getting our money’s worth. They’re at Walden Pond at least once a week, splashing around in the shallow waters of the beach.

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Linus is prepared for anything, including lights out!

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We’ve had this box for well over a year now (Linus’s green bike came in it). Sometimes it’s a cave. A fort. A fire station. Mina’s club house…

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Calibrating the thermometer, maybe?

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Picnic in Cambridge! The kids know that Ba Noi always brings the best treats.

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I never realized before that a Canada Goose is nearly as big as Mina!

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This is the other napping strategy Yen developed: turn the bedding sideways and put them in our bed. That works really well, but it means he’s got nowhere to lie down with them, unless he’s willing to curl into a little ball like Mina.

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I posted a few shots of this earlier, but here we are on our first canoe trip with the kids. This was on the Concord River. Not the most scenic location (unless you enjoy looking at houses you’ll never afford), but the water was so smooth!

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You can see that the kids were rather skeptical at first.

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But soon started having a great time.

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Linus absolutely refuses to let me use the clippers on him, so we turn on a movie and I get to work the old fashioned way.

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We haven’t been taking swimming lessons lately, so we don’t have access to a pool. And of course dealing with two kids in a pool by himself isn’t an option for Yen anyway. Luckily Mass state parks have lots of spray decks all round the city and ‘burbs. Honestly I think Linus enjoys them more than a pool, as he can think about the mechanics of them.

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This photo was taken while she was dancing (she’s not sleeping at the table).

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I said there are a lot of spray decks… The closest one to us was under renovation for a while, but we had no way of knowing when it would be done except to visit. That’s why Mina is running around the trails next to it wearing a splash guard (all suited up and no water in sight!).

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Linus is becoming a real pro at his training chopsticks. He’ll be ready to try real ones in no time!

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Shopping for landscaping decor…

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Linus’s choice is no surprise.

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We visited Tower Hill Botatnical Garden for the first time in ages a few weeks ago. I spent most of the visit worried Mina would pick the flowers.

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This is part of a giant sculpture made of found branches.

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Linus and I went into this little shelter hoping to see some birds. There weren’t any, but we did find a tiny toad hopping around the floor.

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We thought Linus was so cute looking up at this satyr, but on closer examination, we found he was studying a spider web.

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Linus was awfully excited when he found this old disk on display. He tried to get to work testing and tweaking it, and we had to haul him away.

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That rusty screen in the background was so beautiful. Wish we could have one in our yard!

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“Flying” is still a favorite rainy-day activity. By which they mean the little ropes course at a nearby furniture store that includes a little 12-foot zipline.

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Another evening hike, this one about 15 minutes from our house: Fawn Lake in Bedford. It’s a nice little loop, but with so many mosquitoes!

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No matter how many times the kids visit the Museum of Science, they find some new discovery. This time it was a little nook in a stairwell with a terrific view of the Charles River.

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The kids are really into these climbing structures lately. “I’m a spider!”

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Waiting for pho!

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Mina does everything with style, including sitting on the toilet!

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This was an unexpected visit, which is why Mina’s running around in underwear instead of a swimsuit. We packed for a walk but found this instead. Who are we to resist a nice spray deck?

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The walk continued after the spray deck.

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