Saturday, December 08, 2012

Lili's list

A  little old school, a little cutting edge.

Christmas battle droids and cheeky loglets

Other highlights of this Christmas include:

The Lego Star Wars advent calendar sent to us by Oli's mum. Rumor has it, it includes a Darth Maul figure dressed as Santa. I'm sure Jesus finds this funny. So far we've had a bunch of vehicles, a Gungan warrior (Is it Jar Jar? Not sure.) and a battle droid ("Roger! Roger!"). Still waiting for the really good stuff...

And for the fourth year running our little Caga Tions have returned to be fed and kept warm at our house. Lili played at a friend's the other day and when she got home she expressed concern that her friend's Tió had already arrived but ours were still not here. We put some plates of raisins out on both balconies that night and in the morning, they had arrived, laying shivering in the cold, windy morning air.

They've been thriving since we brought them in. They gobble up everything we give them, mostly clementine slices, raisins, dried cranberries and cookies. One day they even stole a whole apple from the fruit basket and we found it next to them with little nibbles in it. They also seem to like reading. Almost daily we find they've 'stolen' one of Josie's board books and are looking at it together. Not sure if they can read English or if they just like the pictures. Unfortunately, they don't seem interested in playing hide and seek. Lili took them into her room, came out and closed the door and counted to twenty, but when she went back in they were right where she left them. I guess Tions can't be good at everything.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Presents from England!

We're going to the US for Christmas this year, but Yaya Lisa in England thoughtfully sent us some presents for an early Christmas. We thought we'd have a mini Christmas day before we left, but Lili had a different plan, and we like it.

Our first Christmas tree

We always spend Christmas at someone else's house, so we've never had our own tree. This year we wanted one!

This is a four-day weekend with Thursday and Friday off school and work. On Wednesday while Lili was at school Oli and I made a last-minute decision to buy the tree and accessories that evening after he and Lili came home from teaching an English class to some of her friends.

Josie and I met them up at a plaza near our house and we went out for a tree, some new lights and some more ornaments (Even though we never had a Christmas tree, we used to hang ornaments from our ceiling or on our lemon tree.) It was, of course the windiest and coldest night and Josie was teething, but at least the Christmas lights in our neighborhood were nice and Lili was excited.

We put it up the next day while Josie was napping. Josie didn't seem too bothered or excited when she woke up. She just shouted 'This?!' repeatedly at it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Summer 2012 England and France: Highlights

Finally getting around to posting these, our favorite things of July 2012.

Body boarding.

Inflatable swimming pool

Had a little leak and needed partial inflating each day, but never mind. Such a super deep inflatable pool!

The Beast
Oli bought this tent off Ben who was moving house. It cost £30 and is vintage. Oooooh. In such good condition and tall enough to stand up in! Two bedrooms and a living area inside. We had no instructions on how to build it, but after 30-minutes or so of lateral and virtual thinking, we worked it out. Oli has subsequently made instructions. 

He and the kids had a camp out one night. All good except for a minor 1.5 hour child nosebleed in the middle of the night. I was sleeping peacefully inside with Josie.... 

Gratuitous baby photo.

Swing ball!

One of our first days in England Lisa (Oli's mum) took us out in search of some backyard essentials including swing ball. Oli taught Lili and she actually paid attention to his advice (?!) and got really good really fast. She's better than me :( 

Highlight of this highlight: Lili ecstatically explaining swing ball to me: "And the ball doesn't even hurt if it hits you, so don't be afraid. I was a little scared but then it hit me hard in the face and it doesn't hurt."

Light sabers 

Many a Jedi on Sith, Sith on Sith, and even Jedi on Jedi battle were reenacted or invented this summer.

Bike riding

Lili finally learned to ride a bike. *Relief* This and swimming were two kid skills she was lacking until recently. Even though we've always known that she would eventually pick them up, I am definitely relieved now that she can do them. She's a bike riding star. This may sound starnge, but she's a good crasher. It's pretty funny to ride behind her, see her careen at a wall and sort of elegantly release the bike and dismount. To be fair though, there's not a lot of crashing, just speedy bike riding and sometimes, some braking.

Mendy and Dave!

We saw them in their new residence in Dorking (*snicker*). They took us to a secret passage in the woods. I was packing a baby and two light sabers. Dave got muddy feet and then we all got lost.

Perfume making

We stole flowers from people's gardens and then Lili made sample perfumes, a separate pot for each flower type to determine which made the best perfume. Lavender won. Then we couldn't be bothered to clean it up so all the perfumes grew moldy over a few days.

Trying to crawl

Life as we know it is almost over. Almost.


They're super cute.

Tide pools

Something we don't get in the Mediterranean, tide pools. So we certainly enjoyed Atlantic tide pools. Crabs, starfish, sea snails, limpets, anemones and lots of shells.

The shop

At a campsite we stayed at over Easter some little girls invited Lili to run their shop with them. The shop consisted of laying out bracelets and shells colored with marker on a concrete block next to the main road through the campsite. On the first evening of the shop one of the older girls brought Lili back to our cabin for dinner and Lili was thrilled that she had been given a cut of the money...2 cents! Woo!

One afternoon in France I was alone at the house with the girls, reading my book in the sun while they made pretend food. After a while I noticed they had been ferrying snacks from the kitchen to the backyard wall. These things included a packaged rice krispy treat, a pack of oat crackers, some pistachis on a bowl, among other things.

They asked me to help them make a sign and we made one that said everything cost 20 cents. Then I reminded them how to say hello in French and gave them a pidgin way to ask, 'Do you want to buy something?'

They 'Bon Jour'ed everyone who passed and by dinner had made 70 cents and expanded their inventory to include colored shells. On day 2 they added shell necklaces and ended up with almost a total of 3 euros. Each of the three big kids got a euro to spend. 

The bus

This was the first time I really got to use our bus and was the most extensive time we've used it general. She took her second trip to France via the ferry and in addition to being our day-to-day vehicle in England, we did a one-night camping trip at a country pub with a campsite.

On the way back from France, our ferry was delayed by an hour or so, so we popped the top, made tea, played frisbee and hung out with people from neighboring cars.

Big bubbles

Thanks to Ben and Caroline we got into making big bubbles. Bought the stick and string thing and a bottle of super bubble mixture from the Toy Box in Godalming. Will look for good do-it-yourself mixture recipes in the future as that stuff is expensive! In any case, after years of watching hobos on the streets of Barcelona earn our pocket change by entertaining Lili with these things, we've learned to do it yourself, and that it is a very addicting passtime...especially when there are no kids around to pop your bubbles! ;)

Slip 'n' slide

We had done this once when Lili and Hannah were much smaller and were looking forward to doing it in the weeks leading up to our visit to England. We found no good Slip 'n' Slide sets in the stores, so we did what we did last time....covered the garden with Lisa's laminated tablecloths and propped a sprinkler up on a chair. Instant Slip 'n' Slide.

Goodbye Milner Estate party

Ben an Caroline threw an awesome goodbye house party complete with all-day barbecue, a fire pit, late-night disco dance room, an outdoor tent with projections and a healthy round of the peg game. No one was spared.

Helping out Uncle Dave and Sam

Oli's brother David and his mate/co-worker Sam were sanding and painting the exterior of Buckleigh House our last few days in town. Lili took great delight in preparing lots of tea and biscuits, sanding and sweeping, all while wearing high-tech protective wear.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Star Wars

Lili is a giant Star Wars fan.

As of late, she collects Star Wars cards to trade at school, though mostly just enjoys laying them out and drooling over them with Oliver, and watches the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series (You should watch this. It is good and on Cartoon Network.).

We've also checked out Star Wars: La Guía Definitiva from the library, which has led to her in-depth knowledge of characters, both major and minor. 

One day while discussing Anakin's change to Darth Vader she asked Oli, 'Wait. Did Shmee know?' (Shmee is Anakin's mother, seen in Episodes I and II.) 
Oli asked, 'Do you mean, did she know that he was turning bad?' 
'Yes,' She clarified.
'Well, she was dead then,' Oli replied.

Now, from time to time, in reference to other things one of us will say, 'Wait. Does Shmee know?' 

Here is a recent sketch Lili did of Obi-wan and Anakin from the Clone Wars series. I especially like that Anakin's face scar is depicted.

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