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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

55 Months

The past two months rushed by once again. I'm working out at lunch three or four days a week, so there's not a lot of time for writing this stuff up. Today I had a meeting run into workout time or I would've been five for five this week. Instead, you get a quick blog post.

I went to Costco to get supplies for 4th of July and ended up getting us season passes to Great America (and the included water park, and Gilroy Gardens) for OMG so cheap compared to Disneyland that we just went for it. So, SUnday afternoon instead of trying to entertain Athena around the house and prep for a party, we headed out and went to Great America. Athena rode her first bumper cars, enjoyed the double decker carousel, and rode the skyway (sky train) with Daddy.

A lovely Independence Day was had starting with the Alameda 4th of July parade. Athena waved her little flag and then after about 15 minutes asked if it was over because she was bored. She and Cordelia made their own fun, which is a nifty place to be in life. 
Parade viewing in style
Oh Alameda, I love you so very much: Sikhs on Bikes
New Ghostbusters

There's a local elementary called Queerly Elementary that focuses on inclusion. I love this town.

Along with the usual military displays, we also had a gun control group. Nice.
And fabulous Zumba/Samba dancers
We zipped on home and had our annual 4th of July party again this year. It was a slightly smaller crowd than last year, but that was good actually. Last year was just a little too much. This was perfect. I actually got to talk to everyone who showed up. Athena was thrilled to spend her day with her friends and Lorelei spent the night. All around it was a fabulous success.
These two together is my favorite thing in the whole world.
The following weekend was Sarah's Multi-Period Picnic, or as I started referring to it, the time-traveller's picnic. Held at Vasona/Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos, the park is a favorite for us for its train and carousel. Athena decided to dress as Cinderella and Erik wore his seersucker suit and boater and I opted to go easy and do 50s. I looked up 50s makeup and realized it was remarkably like what I do daily. Then I looked up 50s hair, and found that was remarkably like my day to day hairstyle. So, um, yeah. Just opted to take it up a notch, wearing my Agent Carter lipstick, and actual foundation, and going for the ever so classic pearls, neutral nylons, and white hurache sandals. 

Multi period picnic girls

Kisses for Athena
Credit to DD Photography:
Athena has been taking swim lessons again, now at Saratoga Star Aquatics. She's loving it (again) and is just about ready to make the leap to being really able to swim unsupported. I'm really hoping we get there soon because drowning is definitely one of those big looming fears. Anyway, she's getting far more sanguine about splashing, which is good, because other kids playing could previously bring her to tears in the pool. 
Hooray for indoor pools.
We've more formally instituted a monthly sleepover with Clementine's moms where we take her one weekend a month and they take Athena one night a month. That has been the most awesome thing ever. Our first turn at that was thwarted by bad food truck lunch going to food poisoning. (Never again Takoz. Never again!) I spent that evening driving the porcelain bus instead of dancing. But the second time we made up for it by going to Indo for dinner, then heading to FNW for the 15th anniversary, staying til midnight, then getting up in the morning to head to Oakridge to catch Star Trek: Beyond and Ghostbusters, with lunch in between. It was crazy decadent. Also: Holtzman. Oh my goodness. So when we went to pick up Athena, she wasn't ready to go. She wanted to play with Clementine longer. Not once did I get the, "But I missed you so much when you weren't there last night Mommy." routine I'm so familiar with. Nope, no guilt trip. Pretty sure everyone is winning. On the weekend we had Clementine, we took the girls back to Lemos Farms. They rode ponies and bounced and rode the train and fed the goats. In fact, bouncing was the best, and the girls spent a one-hour stint in the bounce house without a break. On the way home, they took the nap of the truly tuckered out.

Kevin and Rachel have been hosting some outdoor movies at their place. They had a night of My Neighbor Totoro and now Athena is well and truly acquainted with the joys of the Catbus.

Kevin and Rachel also organized Gamer camping in Boulder Creek at Little Basin. I had some concerns about trying to go camping without some days off to make it go well, but Erik really wanted to give it a go, so we went for it. They headed up Friday afternoon with the Lendvays in their new/used RV while I finished my work day.
Driving is way more fun with a table and activities.
Unfortunately, I got there late Friday after work, after bad traffic, after stopping at home to pick up forgotten items, and Athena got really cold and slept poorly, climbing into our bed in the wee hours of the morning and proceeded to make snow angels while I teetered on the edge of the air mattress. By 6 a.m, I was done and moved toward the fire pit, but didn't see supplies to get a fire going, so gave up after a while and went and sat in my car and read. We gave Athena the choice of whether she wanted to stay another night with Daddy only, or come home with me. She wanted to stay, so I stayed til the end of the evening on Saturday and headed home. That ended up working out for everyone as that gave me a chance to reset her clothing, clean out too small shoes, pack her for the big vacation, and do a bit of quiet shopping at Target while she enjoyed another day of running around in the woods with Lorelei. Crystal became the magical sparkly storyteller for the weekend, regaling the kids with stories of their choosing while they sat in rapt attention. It was awesome. Meanwhile, we played games in the woods. I got to try out Mysterium, which is really pretty fun - similar to Code Names, but with images instead of words, as you are a ghost trying to communicate who murdered you from beyond the grave with very limited resources, and the other players try to guess as the mediums.


Crystal telling tales

Not roughing it
Last weekend we had an exceptionally busy time, having Clementine over, then adding in Lorelei too so that the Lendvays could see Star Trek: Beyond, then dinner, then met up with them and the Goris family at Gilroy Gardens the next day. We'd never been to Gilroy Gardens before, and we were at once struck by how pretty it was and yet how not well-managed it was compared to our gold-standard of Disneyland. We spent over an hour to get to ride a swan paddleboat, but it only seated 2, so I stood out while Erik and Athena paddled the lake. Lots of other things were unexpectedly long waits for short rides, and I can't imagine the place on a busier day, but we had a nice time, especially in the water play area. Athena braved her first real water slide, splashing down into the pool. The first time she was super nervous and the lifeguard offered to catch her at the bottom. She came out and wanted to do it again immediately. The second time the lifeguard asked if she wanted to be caught, and she said, "No thank you!" Then she proceeded to wait in line to do it another half dozen times. Admission is included in our super-cheap Great America passes, so we'll probably head back one more time before those expire.
Gilroy Gardens gang

On the front seat of the train
I intended to get this published a few days ago, but didn't quite finish in time. Nevertheless, the next installment will begin with the grand adventure where Erik and Athena fly away to Boston to meet up with Karen and Rich and Maggie-dog. I dropped them off yesterday and Athena is having a blast. It's the first time she's flown since before she could walk, so the airports and airplane were a special treat. Plus: finally getting to see Meme's boat! And Maggie! Yay!

Bye Mommy!


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