Eiche is really interested in knowing what we are doing next and what the name of EVERYTHING is: "Where are we going, mom" and "what the name is of this is?" are heard frequently.
Also, his interest in helping around the house and taking care of himself is naturally blossoming--"Eiche does it!" is another oft' heard phrase around 31 Greenwood Cove Drive. Washing dishes and starting knots for shoe tying are two faves.
4th of January, Melissa: After the winter break, Eiche and I started up our "visit with Lala and Andrea and the chldren" agin. We are both happy to be returning to our parent-toddler group hosted by the SF Waldorf School at the Orthodox Church on Green and Van Ness Streets. On Tuesdays we start our morning singing seasonal songs and chopping up all the vegetables that the families have brought. As the soup cooks the children go upstairs to play while the parents have time for discussion and reflection. Some of the children protest the separation but Eiche happily runs off the catch "the little red caboose" before it takes off. We close our day enjoying our hot soup snack around a low table. Wednesdays is a craft day for the adults. Eiche calls this a "double door day" as we go through the big wooden doors to reach the play and craft area. He asks, "Are we going to Lalla and Andrea's today?" on other days of the week.
Friday 7-Jan: Rain continues. The street between our apartment and the main road floods (high tide + rain), and we have to sneak out the back way through an emergency road. Very exciting for all! As we drive toward the Golden Gate Bridge we see that all the tidal areas are swollen and spilling over their banks. In the Mill Valley encircled area of Richardson Bay the long elevated path has disappeared under water! All is OK when the tide goes out, and we're fine.
Sunday, 9th of January, Melissa: We have a belated, but sweet Three Kings Day celebration to mark the arrival of the long journeying Wise Men to the Manager were the Christ Child lay. That night, after we all bake and eat a "crown" cake (we finally christen the bundt pan), Jeff and I return the house to everyday mode while Eiche sleeps. We all enjoyed our winter holidays greatly, but we noticed that Eiche did not even ask about the tree the next day!
Thrusday, January 13th, Jeff: We take off for New Mexico to visit Grandma June and Grandpa George. Melissa is delighted that Jeff was willing to take time off during a big project push at Plumtree to join she and Eiche. Jeff sees what a physical ordeal travelling with a toddler (and a gigantic car seat!) can be! Unfortunately the airlines are all too willing to underscore the difficulties of travelling with a little one by delaying our first flight just long enough for us to miss our connection in Phoenix. We were relieved to arrive in Pho. to find that we had already been ticketed through to the next flight. We had an airport dinner (enough said, right?) and arrived at our gate to find that our sencond leg had also been delayed--three hours! Melissa collapsed behind a book (a good one too, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell) while Daddy chased Eiche around the terminal. We finally arrived in El Paso at 12:30 am tp be greeted by a smiling grandma and grandpa!
Friday, 14th of January: The day begins with checking Grandpa George's bird feeders and rolls on from there. We make sugar cookies, Eiche get a hair cut from GrandmaJune, we walk around the lake at the park, have Grandma June's chicken and dumplings for dinner and go through her hat boxes before a bath and bedtime. Everyone is worn out, but happy to be together again after such a long break!
Saturday, 15th of January: Jeff, Eiche, Melissa and Grandma June leave the house early, early, early to catch the lift off ofover 40 participants in the Mesilla Valley Balloon Launch. It is clear and cold, and I mean cold! Soon though the excitement of seeing the balloons unfolded, inflated and rising above us helps us forget the cold for a little while. Everyone naps.
Sunday, 16th of January: We all load into the car and drive to the White Sands National Monument. Melissa enjoys hearing about Grandpa George's experiences at the White Sands Missle Range, which we pass by on our way to the dunes. She learned that this was his first experience working with the large dish radars, which were a new technology in the early 60's. She remembers Grandpa G. bringing home several young birds who were thrown from their hatchling nests in the dish when it was rotated for repair. We feed them soggy cheerios and watched them try their wings for the first time in the living room! Very exciting! After enjoying the quiet beauty of the white desert dunes in winter, we head for an area where kids and brave adults have been flinging themselves down the dunes on makeshift sleds for decades--Mommy did this when she was just a little girl with Uncle Paul helping out! The dunes were a cool get away on a hot summer day as the sands just below the surface were damp and cool. We loved to get buried up to our hot little necks!
Sunday 23-Jan: PapaEd comes up to visit, and takes Eiche for a tricycle ride (with much work to tighten the front fork), and a long walk on the bayshore at low tide. Eiche seems to enjoy the repair as much as the ride though he may just think that is part of the whole experience as we have had to do some fix up job or other on the cute but questionably made Radio Flyer everytime we have taken it out for a spin. Eiche's part in the repair job ended when he pinched his tongue with a set of pliers--ouch! He recovered quickly and they were off! Jeff and Melissa put up pictures on the walls and plant bulbs, and then we all have dinner together (homemade lentil soup--we like it.)
Note from Jeff: Eiche is now turning somersaults on the carpet.
Wednesday, 26th, Melissa: This morning Eiche came into the bedroom while I was getting dressed. He stared at me for a while, looking confused and asked, "where are your....", waving his hands by his head. When I questioned him, he was aking about the horns (!) I had when I was dressed like a goat (!!). Maybe it was a dream? Yikes! This might be his first verbal indication of dreaming.