Fri 4-Feb, Jeff: Eiche goes to Flynn's 4th birthday party. Melissa knows Flynn and his big sister Olivia through their mother Alison who was also in the Waldorf teacher training.
Sat 5-Feb, Jeff: Family outing to the Chinatown New Year's Flower market and mini (daytime) parade. Lots of people going to stalls set up in the streets to purchase flowers and lucky decorations for New Year's, the Year of the Rooster starting Feb. 9th. Mayor Newsom waves to us from his position walking near the head of the parade. There are lion dancers, drummers, fan dancers, stilt walkers, and tall costumes of traditional gods/spirits. We bring home some flowering quince. (Melissa's note: two month later, he is still talking about the lion dancers!)
Sun 6-Feb, Jeff: GreatAuntSusan and GreatGrandmaMarge come over to visit in the afternoon. They bring good cheer and new books to read. Then we all have dinner followed by cake and presents from relatives near and far. Our bundt pan is getting a work out this month!
Eiche loves wearing his new blue and white striped cloth apron from GrandmaJune. The straps are a bit of a puzzle but he's getting better at it.
Fri 11-Feb: Eiche and Melissa make a long afternoon and evening trip to Sacramento with AuntieDar to help Melissa's friend and former housemate Trish celebrate her graduation from nursing school. However we missed the private ceremony as our map did not have the newer street names and we wandered lost for an hour. I am so sorry I missed such an important event and a chance to celebrate a truly wonderful woman.
Sat 12-Feb: AuntieDar stays over and watches Eiche while Melissa takes a craft class. After much longing she learns how to make human figures by a sculpting and dry felting process with carded wool. Jeff works a half day but finds himself stranded in San Francisco after missing the last ferry, and AuntieDar has to pick him up (with a sleeping Eiche in the back seat).
Sun 13-Feb: PapaEd and Nonna come for a visit. Since it's a rainy day and not good for parks and playgrounds, they take Eiche to the BayAreaDiscoveryMuseum and bring him back for homemade soup and oatmeal cake and another installment of his rolling birthday month. (yup, that's the bundt pan again!)
Feb 19-21, Jeff: Presidents' Day Weekend. Rainy showers with sunbreaks, breezes, occasional rain squalls. Thunderstorms Monday in Corte Madera with wind and hail. Not too bad. Eiche spends Sunday with PapaEd and Nonna. He gets his clothes changed twice (puddles, drinking fountain). He enjoys seeing the ducks at the PaloAltoDuckPond and visiting the animals at the junior museum while Mom and Dad have a day on their own, visiting HakoneGardens in Saratoga. After returning from HakoneGardens with bamboo, Mom and Dad try assembling it with leather laces into a couple of A-frames so Eiche can have some play tents by draping his silks over. We get partway through, discovering we have to add additional laces to brace the corners.
Jeff's Note: Eiche (drumming on his metal step-stool): "It makes a trumpet noise." "I'm a little drummer boy."
Sun 27-Feb, Jeff: Eiche finally has his birthday party. Mom and Dad make minestrone soup and oatmeal cake with coconut topping the night before. Guests Olivia and Flynn arrive with their parents Alison and Daniel. Everyone walks out the gate to the bay shore. We stop to throw rocks in the water before climbing the hill in the TiburonAudubonCenter. We visit the sandy-pebbly beach below the historic Lyford House, then head back home for lunch and cake. Mom tells a story about a turtle looking for friends for a birthday party, but the bear is still sleeping away the winter and the bird has not returned from migration. So his tears fall in his pool, and the Rain Princess transforms them into fish who will be his friends. Eiche, Olivia, and Flynn play together, taking up the entire livingroom floor with elaborate scenarios, and then the guests leave with party favors -- each with a little tin bucket with a blue silk for "water" and a bronze fish we got at the HakoneGardens.