going dutch (at dutch door press)

Today I arranged for us to take a tour of nearby Dutch Door Press letterpress and design studio. One of the proprietors and artists, Anna, has a daughter in the same school and grade as Stella. I have been obsessed with their work ever since I first stumbled upon it years ago in a card shop. It really makes my brain fire up and my creative juices flow when I see the designs and the colors. The work is beautiful.

It was a fun thing to do, having just toured the Jelly Belly factory last week. What a huge contrast in the way things work. Anna and her daughter showed us all around, and Oliver was somewhat patient as I had him strapped into the stroller the whole time, to prevent collateral damage. We were really grateful to have had this opportunity. Thanks, Anna!

I'll let the images tell the rest of the story. 


oliver in pictures in a hedgehog costume


new pool

We did manage to make one trip this week. First, these two jokers had breakfast on the floor. Then we headed south to Palo Alto to try the Rinconada Pool. What a fantastic kiddie pool they have, with all sorts of water features to play in. The best part was the water depth, maximum three feet. This was perfect for me to be able to watch Oliver while Stella put the finishing touches on actually floating and swimming! She has been in lessons for the last two months, but today she had so much time to work it out on her own that she made it happen. It's like with the piano, I worry and scheme about how I can teach her and stuff enough training down her throat that she will get it. But it's not necessary. These little growing brains get it! They are listening! They are internalizing what they are learning and you don't need to hold their hand every step of the way. It's such a relief the more I realize this. Yay!

Be warned, the Rinconada Pool is pretty busy mid-day with summer camps, and the ground is positively soaked all day long, which makes setting up camp under the umbrella no fun at all. Kept us in the pool the entire time.

Folks were a little hot and crabby at the end of the day. We picked dapper David up at the Palo Alto Caltrain station and grabbed some grub. This here nap ensured us a successful dinner out with an almost-two-year-old. He is SUCH a baby face, how can he be 23 months old tomorrow? Yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda, as Oliver likes to say!

Back in the city...wait for it...FOG! We got home and warmed up, and played the latest game craze to take over the living room: carnival! Stella loves to be a carnie, bless her heart! We've got a ring toss, a bottle knock-down station, the scale is out so we can play "guess the weight" (hate it), and she's got millions of tickets to give out, to everyone, for anything. I think we can get a lot of mileage out of this game.



gutter garden and goofy guy

Three-and-three-quarter year old Stella, May 2009, in front of our newly installed gutter garden:        
Five-and-three-quarter year old Stella, today, in front of our about-to-be-swallowed-by-ivy gutter garden:

On the back porch to check out the invasive ivy is about as far as we got today, except for a quick trip to the market. 

Oliver kept himself entertained falling on his face over and over on our bed. It was absolutely adorable and hilarious. We played and read, and in the afternoon cuddled and watched Little House on the Prairie. Stella has seen it a few times and really enjoys it. Try as I might to stay awake to watch it with her, it usually puts me to sleep. A peaceful, if totally fruitless day.


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