For the last couple months, Elliot has been taking an extracurricular Jazz dance class every wednesday morning at school. It is led by the school’s dance teacher—who does a wonderful job. The class culminated in this dance performance set to Owl Service’s “Fireflies” . . .
Elliot’s teacher selected her to receive an art award at a recent assembly. We were able to attend and surprise her (along with Mimi, Pop and Dampa)—she didn’t know she was getting it until her name was called!
We’re so excited to be having a boy . . . !
Elliot had her first piano recital in Tacoma yesterday—at University of Puget Sound’s Schneebeck Hall (where she also takes her weekly lessons.) Despite a bit of stage fright about having to introduce herself and her piece to the audience, she played wonderfully.
Elliot has become inseparable from the camera. She films herself doing puzzles. She films me reading her bedtime story. She films a tour of the house and all the objects in her room.
I don’t know where she gets it from . . .
She also always introduces herself to the camera—which is a must-see.
Here are the first two of what will possibly become many cunning tales from the world of Elliot.
Recently, Elliot’s been taking a great interest in walking around our home with the old Flip camera shooting videos—”So . . . this is my room . . . and here’s my pillow . . . and this is my stuffed Toto . . . now I’m going to show you my fort . . . ” etc, etc. She’s also taking photos using our iphone. I don’t know where she learned this behavior . . .
Anyway, I thought it would be fun to have Elliot make her first “movie”—and she was thrilled with the idea! So, she and I sat down and she told me the story of the movie which I broke down into scenes. Then she decided which toys would play the various parts and where the scenes would take place—using her toys and blocks for set pieces. Then she acted out each scene as I filmed—she learned to say, “Camera?” (“ready”) and “Action” before each scene. Then we uploaded the footage and sat down in front of the computer and edited the movie together. “We don’t want to keep that part, Daddy,” and, “Let’s have it start after I say ‘action!'”
Above is the resulting movie. And below are some of her iphone photos!
Our present to Elliot on her 5th birthday was a new bicycle (to replace her tricycle she was quickly outgrowing.) However, due to a combination of busy holiday schedules and bad weather weekends, it took us until the other day to actually get it for her. Immediately after purchasing, we took the very excited girl (she was jumping up and down with her hands in the air in the bike store) for her first bike ride—choosing the lovely Sonoma bike path as our setting. We ran into friends, listened to frogs and enjoyed the unseasonably comfortable weather.
Just yesterday, we all went for a ride and run/walk (to keep up with the rider) to the nearby bike store to get her promised basket, bell and streamers. She’s proving to be a strong cycler with a lot of stamina and courage—she already said she’s ready to take her training wheels off. Of course, that will probably happen a lot slower than she expects . . .
Another typical morning around our house—it’s hard to wake a sleeping cutie, but it’s worth the effort when they light up your home with play . . .
Here’s a couple other recent photos—the first of swinging with her friend Sophia at the Plaza playground and the second of us enjoying the weekly Shiso Sushi night at Sonoma Springs Brewery around the corner from our home.
Meema and Dampa came down to the Bay Area and we all spent Thanksgiving in the city with Mary and Karson. We also got to see their new house in Oakland and their new dog for the first times!
Elliot and I love making pulleys using jump ropes and the backs of two chairs. We send stuff to each other. You know, like tooth paste and legos.
The Bears won, I played with my daughter and had dinner with my gorgeous wife at my favorite restaurant—it was a good birthday.
On a cold November evening, we were getting a cone of ice cream when we got a text from Scribe Winery vintner Andrew inviting us to dinner at their “Hacienda.” We never refuse a Scribe invitation and were quickly there eating delicious, fresh food at a hay bale table and drinking wine from jam jars and socializing with a group of Levis creatives (who later made this.)
Yes, we were very much in our element (and the type of people who bring their 5yr-old to a winery party.)
Elliot’s fifth birthday was wonderful—a weekend full of friends, Mimi, princess parties, ballet, presents, cakes, toys and more fun than can fit in photos and video form . . .
Another Kate date—this one replete with gingerbread cookie-making and French musical-watching/reenacting!
We don’t get to eat out that often. Which is really hard when you are foodies living in one of the epicurean capitals of the world. However, we’re able to indulge our foodie urges occasionally. And in spite of living in one of the epicurean capitals of the world, we often opt for guilty pleasures and old standbys. Recently, we went to one of our favorite guilty pleasures in Napa—Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylor’s Automatic Refresher.) Yes, we liked the old name much better, too, but a rose is a rose and their burgers are still delicious (even the vegetarian ones.) We also nabbed a cookie from Kara’s Cupcakes bakery just around the corner . . .
Sarah met Bobby on her first day at USF. They’ve been best friends ever since (or “Tacos” as they call each other.) Peter met Bobby on his first day living in SF. They were friends immediately and have been so ever since.
We love Bobby’s genuine friendliness, intelligent humor, creative positivity and musical talents (he’s a world-famous rock star, you know . . . ) He was a groomsman in our wedding and has been there over the years, even when he was living all the way in Minneapolis. We were delighted when he and his girlfriend Mary moved back to San Francisco (in our old ‘hood, nonetheless.) They rented a zipcar and drove up to Sonoma to visit us recently. We took them wine tasting (Scribe, of course) and then to the Plaza for a wine country picnic dinner. We look forward to more visits with Bobby and Mary now that they’re close again!
As the first official sign that summer is ending (the weather certainly isn’t showing signs) came in the form of the Sonoma Community Garden harvest festival—kids swarming the haybale house, hobo music in the Fig Forest, local brews in jam jars, pie contests, harvest produce. Makes us almost willing to say goodbye to summer!
On Fridays, Elliot has the afternoons off, which we spend at the Plaza playground before going grocery shopping.
It’s late september and that means it’s nearing the end of a summer and the end of an era. The footage in this short video—of miscellanea from September—represents the last regular usage of my Flip camera. It’s been just over a year of having that Flip virtually attached to my hand—the Year of the Flip . . .
To my Flip: you’ve served me well, oh you trusty work horse. Your “making a lot with a little” attitude and pop art sensibilities will never be matched and you’ll always be close to my heart and a part of my arsenal. It’s just that, well, now I have a new starter—you may spend more time on the bench now, but when you’re sent out to play, it will be when we really need you and you’ll have a chance to steal the spotlight!
Ice Cream in Petaluma.
Call of the Wild al fresca in the winery ruins at the Jack London State Park.
Dayglo cupcake decorating, an afternoon in the pool and an evening barbecue—I think we did it right?
Elliot and I have been spending a lot of time in the pool lately—as you can imagine with Elliot, imagination reigns. Keep an eye out in the video for Elliot’s first attempts at swimming without floaties . . . !
Ten days spent in island time—even if it was a “workcation,” it was one of the best weeks of our year.
Watch the video below and then click through to see more photos.
Here are a couple bonus videos—A Night at the Opera and a Day at the Races:
Lastly, here’s a video we created under the Belle Creative umbrella for the festival:
Elliot attended several different week-long day camps at the local Academy of Dance & Arts just off the Plaza this summer. At the end of “Princess Camp,” we celebrated with both a Mommy/Daughter Tea Party and a Daddy/Daughter Ball. We all had a lot of fun, as evidenced by the videos above and below!