Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Saturday, April 05, 2014
The Scripps Aquarium contains fish. No lie.
The bay between La Jolla and UCSD.
But this morning my throat felt better. Still a little crackly at times, but better. So I took myself off to Michael's for a bit of shopping.
Playing with the water flow toy at the Aquarium. Note the Snoopy sticker from his visit to the dentist.
Next weekend Iain celebrates his sixth birthday. We need gift bags for his guests. Last year I learned (too late) that a craft store is the mecca of gift-bag stuff. So off I went. On a Saturday morning.
But, in the end, it was fine. I found bags, tissue paper, swirly straws, colored pencils, decorative notepads, festive sequins and confetti, stickers, and little tubes of glitter. Yes, I am giving away glitter. Because parenting is about sharing the pain.
Posing inside the mouth of a great white shark: priceless.
Once home, I arranged my mis en place, unfolded 30 bags and filled them up. Task #1 for the birthday party: done. Next stop: order 5 dozen donuts.
After that, my craft glands went into overdrive. Iain's longest-standing teacher - the woman who supervises his extended day program - will leave at the end of this year. Iain would have moved into a different division of his school, anyway. So we need to say goodbye. Together, we made her a long bead necklace.
Then Iain used leftover glitter and sequins to make a thank-you note for a gift he received last week. It says, "I like tools." Effusive, I know.
And now, sparkling with glitter, no doubt with beads hidden in the folds of my jeans, I'm considering what to do next. Quilting? Perhaps.
Posted by Fiona at 3:44 pm
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
So I looked for my name on Twitter. I was feeling a little paranoid.
Reading tweets obviously about someone else (who shares my name) turned out to be amusing.
Apparently, on Twitter, I teach ecology. I rap. I have a photo collection of bad prom dresses. I did all these things in 2012.
Posted by Fiona at 7:10 pm
Monday, March 24, 2014
We struggle to keep Iain entertained when we fly. Restaurants work ok sometimes. Other times he resists.
But hotels? Iain likes hotels. He likes the beds. He likes the cleanup services (especially having his bed made while we're out). He likes mini-fridges and pools and hotel restaurants and the Do Not Disturb sign.
San Diego changed none of this. He liked it. Teddy liked it, too.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
We visited the New Children's Museum. This is nothing like those museums full of grimy toys, supposedly science-oriented but actually a great place to lick something revolting that some other kid sneezed on.
It's an art space, designed around a theme by local artists. I presume it changes. When we visited the theme was food. So this rainbow bouncy caste appeared, on the outside, to be composed of fruits and vegetables. They also built a recording studio in which all the instruments were kitchen tools. The drum kit looked completely authentic but...it was pots and pans. Fun.
The museum reserves outdoor spaces for truly messy activities. Upstairs, a fountain of soap that you can use to make huge bubbles. Downstairs (seen above), a paint area and a clay area. For the paint, you take a huge brush, dip it into a bucket, and slop some paint on the tractor. It's an homage to the farm, apparently.
The clay sits by a "cake and cupcake" making area. You make pretend sweets, then set them on 3-tiered cake trays in the sun to dry.
Did I mention that this museum has sinks and soap everywhere? Yeah.
You can't visit San Diego without admiring its zoo. We spent most of a day there. HUGE doesn't really describe it. We walked half the zoo, then popped into a "4-D" theater for a film (4-D, in case you didn't know, means they spray water on you and jiggle your seat. Joy.). After that, a short gondola ride across the park (horrible if you fear heights. Ahem.) and a long bus tour. The bus proved how little we'd actually seen so far but by the time it ended we could hardly contemplate another step.
So next time: koalas, pandas, elephants, wolves, and all the other things on the east side of the park.
Yesterday, we returned to Balboa Park to visit the Model RailRoad Museum (wonderful, though a testament to a hobby that is clearly dying), the Temken Art Museum, and the Prado.
Today, we decided to drive up to La Jolla. UCSD's Scripps Center for Oceanography boasts a lovely little aquarium, just right for Iain's age and attention span. At the gift shop, Iain insisted he HAD TO HAVE a book that examines the insides (organs, bones) of sharks. So. Proud.
After that, lunch in La Jolla proper and a visit to the beach. Above, and below, Charles and Iain checking out tidal pools. At the aquarium we learned about them and here the menfolk spent a happy hour observing sea anemones, crabs, and leetle teeny fish.
As for food: Japanese, Italian, California, Mexican, French, and plenty of Diner (our favorite, now and always).
Tomorrow we return to the mountains. I've missed them. Here, beautiful as it is, I look around and think, "What's wrong with the sky? It's so...empty."
P.S. Last night, Iain read *to us* from Beatrix Potter. Joy.
Posted by Fiona at 8:54 pm