Oh, what haven’t we been up to lately?

We had a triumvirate, worker-themed party (for Tiyo’s birthday).

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(cakes in trucks!)

We saw the best American film at the SF Film Fest (on Zu’s birthday).

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(kids stayed home!)

We celebrated a week early because we were moving (on Evie’s birthday).

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(first: trying to get her cat to sit up in the chair by himself; not possible)

And we bought a house (on Svea’s birthday).

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(“For you. Hope you like it!”)

Tiyo and his preschool were featured on NPR.

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(my kid’s the one with the hardhat; photo property of Berkeley Forest School).

Svea continues to hold dinner parties about soap and wear ponchos to work.

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(you’re invited to the party; my poncho only has room for one)

Zu still cooks all the meals.

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(all plated, all the time)

And Evie is an artist.

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(performance piece based on a reading of Wittgenstein)

A few weeks ago, Field Commanderette learned how to raise herself to a standing position.

 

She claps for herself.

 

Except that in her young mind clapping looks a lot like the sign we use for ‘pooping’.

 

e stands i from Svea Vikander on Vimeo.

Finger-to-palm, folks…

Just like ‘more’ looks a bit like a small bird flapping its wings.

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Her brother is also hard at work building a kids-sized house. He has a new idol: Larry Haun.

They are in close communication (thought Tiyo persists in calling him “Mary Haun” – and the videos become increasingly absurd, so don’t skip the second one).

Mary Haun I from Svea Vikander on Vimeo.

 

Mary Haun II from Svea Vikander on Vimeo.

 

We have so many great pictures from the last few months, it’s hard to know where to start. After Baby E was born, our intrepid Field Commander joined the ranks of the morning session Imaginarium-goers, and read a lot of books.DSCF2596

Baby E and Mama went to Toronto for a good friend’s wedding/nap.

Evie in Golden Snap Jumper

(thanks to Kevin for loaning his condo, Kara and Christian for getting married, and Aunt Christine and Buddy for the adorable Golden Snap jumper!)

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Then everyone went to Wisconsin and Mama wore her dress inside out because the colours are waaaay better that way.

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At the end of September, Baby E and Mama went to Vermont for SCHOOL.

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(THANKYOU TO TAMMY for looking after a rather cantankerous little monster with a bad diaper rash and jet-lag. Woohoo!)

And while that was happening, a triad of Jameses aligned in someone’s back yard in the Bay Area.

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(thanks Jimmy and Uncle Jaime for visiting!)

Oh, and also, Mama and Baby wore these matching hats in Vermont and it was REALLY CUTE.

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(thank you Alba at Knitting Land for making the hats! Thanks to Ging for the pearls!)

Then it was time for the Birth Without Fear conference in Texas!

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(Thanks to Auntie Lynne for the angel bib! Thank you BWF and the Beauty Revealed Project for sponsoring Mama and Baby alike!)

And of course, then it was Hallowe’en. Parents went as the Hoddles, world-famous entomologists.

Tiyo was a bee! Check out that honey pot!

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(thanks Vanessa for the hand-me-down bee costume!)

Evie was a ladybug…

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pokable ladybug.

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That’s all, folks! See you next time.

It’s time to introduce you to the deputy.

Here she is. Hope you like her. We all love her very much. 

 

The following photos were not staged.

 

Baby E the Deputy is like her father in many ways. She has blue eyes!

 

 

Perfect for spending a lot of time staring out the window.

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At one week. Thanks Mor-Far for the beautiful tunic!

 

She has a bald head.

 

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Tiyo holding baby E for the first time! Also at one week. Thanks Barry for the awesome tie-dyed authentic Berkeley t-shirts.

 

She finds the Field Commander both amusing and demanding.

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(Tiyo wears a knit toque from Aaron and Chelsea; pink pyjama top that says, ‘Tiaras make you taller!’ (a hand-me-down from Rivkah, Kyle, Una and Isa); gray shorts from Viola, our landlady; and camo rain boots (on the wrong feet) from the consignment store, with sparkles for added appeal. Ready to go to school.
In the background, Evla’s newborn baby hammock, which she hates. Handmade by mom.)Whenever possible, she copes with chaos by retreating into a world of her own making.

 

 

Whenever possible, she copes with chaos by retreating into a world of her own making.

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(Mama and Papa are chatting in the kitchen. Baby asleep on mama’s shoulder.
Enter Tiyo, carrying the metal bowl in the background: “Baby! Baby! Baby! Put in baby!”
He’s got a good memory, that kid. But his sense of proportion is maybe a little off.)
Thanks to cousin Lynn for the beautiful hand-knit blanket on whose silken fibers Evla sleeps through (almost) every meal time. Thanks Mimi for the Moose socks and June and Kally for painting the onesie!

 

She has the same smile…

 

 

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And she loves cuddles!

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Though sometimes her brother enjoys them a little more…

 

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Last time we showed you what we do all day. Today you can see where we live!

 

 

 

…and yes, this video was taken three weeks ago.

It doesn’t snow here. Ever.

 

 

Ever wondered what the Field Commander does all day?

9:05am

He makes breakfast: meyer lemon/lavender cake.

10:00am

He cleans up and plays with his toys.

10:30am

Housework.

10:45am

He moves outside for some fresh air and minor household repairs.

11:30am

Time for a bath.

12:00pm

The Field Commander takes a break out of his busy day to care for Bowa, a lady who lunches.

1-5:30pm

Imagination Bootcamp.

Feb. 2013

5:30pm

Papa picks up the Field Commander from Imagination Bootcamp and they go rock climbing, or another thing that involves hats.

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6:30pm

Dinner with special guests.

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Ham and tomato, and/or…

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7:30pm

Get ready for bed, read stories with the parentals.

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8:30pm.

P.A.R.T.Y!

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Just over a year ago, Mr. Field Commander published a review of some of his most frequented toys. Fourteen months older and wiser, Mr. Bister reports back…

TOYS: An Evaluative Report

Submitted By: Okotiyo James

Visuals courtesy of Mama and vimeo

Saturday, January 26 2013

 

Article 1: Vacuum

Overall Rating: OOO (3 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 8/10

Availability: When we need it desperately, we go knock on our neighbours’ door.

Dangers/Toxicity: Minimal (electric plug-in; noisy)

 

Article 2: Grocery bag swing – first swing out of two.

Overall Rating: OOOO (4 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 9/10

Availability: The more we use it/the more food I eat, the less I get to swing.

Dangers/Toxicity: Moderate (tearing/paternal exhaustion)

 

Article 3: Bedroom swing – second swing out of two

Overall Rating: OOO (3 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 6/10

Availability: Right there above my bed.

Dangers/Toxicity: Moderate (draw-back: requires parental locomotion)

 

Article 4: Wooden train and accompanying packaging (thanks, Cousin Lynn!)

Overall Rating: OOOOO (5 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 9/10

Availability: Wooden train: readily available. Packing peanuts: special occasions only

Dangers/Toxicity: Moderate (peanuts: choking; train: wanderlust)

Train

 

Article 5: Cooking implements

Overall Rating: OOOO (4 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 5/10, unless they try to take it away from me.

Availability: Everybody’s got pots and pans. Only some people have provolone cheese.

Dangers/Toxicity: Moderate (cutting, bashing, temporary removal for cooking purposes)

 

Article 6: Specialized cooking implement: Papa’s stick blender

Overall Rating: OOOOO (5 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 10/10 (noise, action, novelty, danger, smoothies: what’s not to like?)

Availability: Only when Mama’s around

Dangers/Toxicity: Severe (requires close adult supervision/nosiness)

Papa

(thanks Mor-Far for the sweater and Mimi for the blender!)

 

Article 7: Bowa the Bear (thanks Mimi and Grandpa Ken!)

Overall Rating: OOOO (4 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 7/10; Comfort Factor: 9/10

Availability: He’s always around, making inexplicable beeping noises.

Dangers/Toxicity: None

Bowa again

Bowa

 

Article 8: The word ‘no’; means ‘no’, ‘yes’, ‘maybe’, etc.

Overall Rating: OOOOO (5 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 10/10

Availability: All the time. ALL. THE. TIME.

Dangers/Toxicity: Minimal (they might take me seriously and actually not give me ice-cream)

 

Article 9: Papa

Overall Rating: OOOOO (5 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 10/10

Availability: Never enough Papa.

Dangers/Toxicity: Moderate (wrestling, carbon dioxide tanks)

 

 

Article 1o: Mimi

Overall Rating: OOOOO (5 O’s out of 5)

Amusement Factor: 10/10

Availability: I WANT HER HERE RIGHT NOW.

Dangers/Toxicity: None (removes hammers, knives, other inappropriate objects)