Sunday, October 30, 2011

We love to read

People who know me are well aware that reading is a great joy for me.  I am so thrilled that both my girls share that joy.  They almost like reading as much as they like getting people to buy things for them.  Ths makes the school book fair a perfect storm where they ask for stuff and we find ourselves unable to say no.

luckily there is also the option of the library where there are cozy spots to read books that are available to check out and return.

Now if only we could work out how to quit paying late fees we would be on to something.  That said, is there anything better in this country than public libraries.  Really, I love them.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween is my favorite holiday -- especially in Burlingame.  There is no better evidence of the wonderful neighborhood we live in than how cool it is for Halloween.  Our Greek goddess and our gothic vampire were very pleased with their costumes.

Even baby Eli got in the spirit.  We should have had him join the Lion Dance.

and the next morning we did a round of Tai Chi Sword with Grandpa Bob.  Even Julianne got in the act.  Yup, Halloween is my favorite holiday.  Well, right after Thanksgiving and my birthday of course ;-).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lion Dance 2011

Lion dance is always a big deal with the girls.  This year they moved it up to the fall so it came a bit early for us.  Luckily, this wasn't our first year so we were prepared with hats and boots already.

Striking a pose is a critical thing to practice... of course, for these girls they practice this every day so they were pretty prepared.


Action shots!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jaq turns 6

Turning six is a big deal.  Well, let's be honest, all birthdays are a big deal in the Bear household.

There is cake.

A "fancy dinner at that place with the lights" (after several detectives on the case we determined it was Broadway Grill) where you get invited up on stage to sing with the artists.

Cousins who join you and maake you feel special.

and a rock star party at home just like you wanted.

with your own stage, blue hair and lots of friends to join you.

Happy Birthday Jacqueline.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Today we begin the first "return" school start for both girls.  Jacqueline starts first grade and Ashton third.  In theory, we have no new teachers as Jacqueline got Ms. Chan (Ashton's K and 1st grade teacher) and Ashton got her second grade teacher promoted to third with her.

Unfortunately, Ms. Seki, Ashton's teacher is out for some time as her husband is ill.  This gives Ashton a new teacher who she is really excited to win over.

Our first day went off pretty smoothly with both girls very excited to get out the door.  They both decided they had to take another shower this morning which added a little complexity but since they were ready so quickly it all worked out.  We'll see how it goes for Bob tomorrow after the adrenaline wears off and we get back to the swing of a schedule that has everyone out of the house by 8:15am.

It's a short day (ends at noon) so we will be back for pick up in a few hours.
 Ashton was excited to have friends from last year in her class again.
 Jacqueline was enthusiastically all pink and ruffles and sparkles for her first day.  Ms. Chan gave everyone name tags which was a great idea!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Soccer dad

Both the girls are starting soccer this year.  Ashton has weekly practice but Jacqueline's league is a bit less structured.  They did meet for a play date and uniform distribution. 

 Clearly, Jacqueline was loving the day.
 She even appears somewhat close to the ball.
 As a bonus she knew two girls in her team with one having gone to preschool with her and the other in her kinder class last year.  She is number 2.
But it seems that the playground equipment was still a big draw.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


For the past several months Jacqueline has been insisting she needed glasses to read.  Bob and I had been sure this "need" was about the fact that Bob wears glasses to read and so we got her glasses at the drugstore and removed the lenses figuring that was that.

As she got better at reading she was always saying she wanted to use glasses and when we said no she asked for a magnifying glass.  Later she was wanting to make the kindle setting higher to make the letters larger.

Still convinced it was about confidence in reading (new reader books have larger fonts) and not really about seeing... we decided it might not be a bad idea to have her eyes checked.

Bob scheduled an apt and he and Jaq went off to see the doctor while Ashton and I did some stuff at home.  Soon I get a text message that they are picking out frames (?!) so Ashton and I jumped in the car and went down to fashion consult.

 This pair was her choice.  It will be in her school bag.
 This pair was my choice (thicker plastic..).  They will be on her night stand for reading at bedtime.
This is her sunglasses she had to wear the rest of the day as her eyes were dilated for a glaucoma test.  The last photo was more of a parenting trick to get her to put her sunglasses on than anything else.

Of course, her glasses will be another week to arrive so she will need to suck it up for the first week of school.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nature Hike with Dad

We found out about a nature hike in Mills Canyon last week and Bob and the girls decided to go (and let Mom organize the closets for school).

 The kids got clipboards and lists of things to look for on the hike.  Jacqueline immediately rejected hers (later to wonder why she didn't have one).
 It was quite the group -- lots of poison oak hanging around too.
 You can sense the enthusiasm from Ashton for the event and the photo.
They found some friends from school and decided to do a second trip. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gilroy Gardens

Decided to spend one of the last weekends before school going to Gilroy Gardens for a sunday.  It's a nice place to go when it's cold here at home as it is always hot in Gilroy. 

I've decided that amusement parks that are intended for the 10 and under set are way less annoying than other ones.  The adult-to-kid ratio makes them cleaner and less stressful generally (while still having the required kids meltdowns from too much sugar/excitement and too little sleep of course).

I rate Gilroy Gardens high for shade and fun and only really low for food.  The food is slightly less than marginal.  Girls even did a few roller coasters.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

PAC Pool

The gym just added a new pool and instead of making it a normal pool they built a water park.  It is now super fun and busy and crazy.

The bigger pool is pretty deep and so Jacqueline prefers to have the tubes to float in.  She has mastered the "spot and claim your tube" better than anyone I have seen -- it is really fun to watch.

Since they are hard to get sometimes the girls have to share.
 and occasionally they figure out how to do that -- most of the time it's just fun to watch them learn about how hard it is to share something that floats.
 You are not allowed to hold on to them so Jacqueline has invented cleaver ways to try to save them during bathroom breaks.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

We love our new gazebo

The whole family is just crazy about our new gazebo.  The girls love the swing chairs (which we have two).
 Ashton is the one most inclined to go out and swing on the chair regularly.

 Mom is fine taking whatever spot is open -- with a book and a beverage -- life is good.
 Since this is Northern California - we have already made good use of the heat lamps too. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Disco Bingo

 Since we didn't bring anything to wear to Disco Bingo Jacqueline decided to improvise and wear her swimsuit.
 Ashton and mom played it a bit more cool wearing our normal clothes.
The Bingo card was altered to be "D-I-S-C-O" and whenever there was a winner there would be dancing.  Jacqueline surprised us all with her moves!  It's a bit dark at the beginning.