Lucky Eight

November 30th, 2012 by ninja

Mika’s birthday sleepover was a huge success – eight (!) girls decorated their own pajama tops, danced themselves silly (see videos), pigged out on sushi and birthday cake, and mellowed down with popcorn, a movie, and lots of light toys before bedtime. No only did we see fantastic budding dancers, but all of them have gotten a lot more professional about sleepovers: with less than 6 hours of sleep under their belt, they were in an exceptional mood the next morning and had a great time playing as a group – Tobin included.



2 Comments | Category: Daily Musings, Photos, Videos

Happy Birthday, Mika!

November 30th, 2012 by ninja

What a day.

I can’t believe this person turned eight today! We started with an early birthday breakfast, followed by a normal school- and workday (half day for me). I brought Rice Krispies “cupcakes” (and Tobin) to her classroom celebration. After pickup, we had only 90 minutes left until the party guests arrived. Eight girls for an action packed sleepover extravaganza. They had a blast, but didn’t actually sleep until closer to midnight. I am going to post pictures soon, but now it’s time to catch some zzz’s myself, as i expect them to wake each other up at the crack of dawn…

3 Comments | Category: Daily Musings, Photos

Happy Birthday, Opa Addi!

November 28th, 2012 by ninja


The kids got up early this morning, to be able to sing Happy Birthday to Opa Addi before school. Tobin built a special snap circuit that plays the birthday song, so they came doubly prepared. Unfortunately, Omi and Opa were out of town all day, and all the kids got to hear in return was the answering machine. We hope to catch up this weekend!

1 Comment | Category: Daily Musings, Videos

Storm King – End of Season

November 24th, 2012 by ninja

This is the latest we have even been to Storm King – literally on the last weekend of the season. The Art Center is beautiful year round, as colors and temperatures change vastly between seasons and make for very different experiences. The best thing about a late Fall visit: the switchgrass is completely dried up and makes for excellent spears, swords, magic wands, and the likes. The grass gets mowed and/or burned down each Spring, so taking a few stalks at the end of the season is not invasive. The weather was freakishly cold – just over 40°F and so windy that there were a few snowflakes zipping by between rare glimpses of sunlight. We were dressed for it though, and had a fantastic day with Team Gaang & Sahn.

No Comments | Category: Daily Musings, Photos

Falling for Fall

November 18th, 2012 by ninja

This morning, Sung insisted we’d go into the city and play in Central Park. I am glad he did, because it was well worth getting out of our borough. The shedding of leaves through Hurricane Sandy wasn’t as obvious as i had expected, and the park was glorious to look at.

1 Comment | Category: Daily Musings, Photos

Picture Day 2012

November 18th, 2012 by ninja

The school pictures have arrived – time for the Annual Awkwardness Smackdown!

Since there is little hope to get a decent portrait taken on Picture Day, our kids were given free art direction: they chose their favorite backgrounds, and were responsible for final touches in styling and accessories. Which meant that Mika kept her cool, mod dress hidden under a cardigan, and paired glass beads with her favorite headband du jour (…). Tobin opted to look at his handlers instead of the camera, but the shirt does fit the background he chose. Both kids are very pleased with the results.

2 Comments | Category: Daily Musings, Photos

Laternelaufen 2012

November 17th, 2012 by ninja

This year, the Annual German St. Martins Day Lantern Parade wasn’t all that – we ran half an hour late, and none of our best friends came out due to scheduling conflicts. Arriving in total darkness at Prospect Park, there was no chance of finding other, familiar faces in the crowd and we just walked anonymously with the large group. After the parade, it took us about an hour (!) to drive the few miles back home, because traffic was completely choked by a combination of Sandy road closures and Saturday night bridge and tunnel traffic. No fun with two kids who haven’t had dinner. Only upside: Mika got to walk with a real candle for the first time – like big kids in Germany (or all kids back in my days).

Next year, it will take a very good reason for us to attend at all…

No Comments | Category: Daily Musings, Photos

Flying Robots

November 11th, 2012 by ninja

Another party – this time for Tobin’s friend Eli, who celebrated his 5th birthday at the Brooklyn Robot Foundry. This place had sparked our interest already, so Tobin was extra excited to get a chance to check it out. After a warmup of sketching robots with markers and tape, the kids set out to build “flying robots” – little parachutes made from coffee filters, pipe cleaners, and paper cups. Tobin kept his model lean and mean, choosing the smallest cup and the lightest materials for his “passenger”. The moment of truth came, when all parachutes were launched to fly up a transparent wind tunnel. Some made it all the way to the top and out, some were too heavy and got stuck mid way. It was a great experience to see the kids fine tune their models for better flight behavior. To Tobin’s delight, his parachute shot up the pipe like a rocket and kept sailing slowly back into his hands. Over, and over, and over again. After the party he couldn’t decide whether the chocolate cake, or the parachutes were the best part of the afternoon, but he clearly had a great time. Thanks for having us, Eli!

2 Comments | Category: Daily Musings, Photos

Happy 5th Birthday, Matias!

November 10th, 2012 by ninja

Tobin’s old friend Matias celebrated his 5th birthday with a Magic Show Party under the historic church roof at Packer. The best thing: there were so many friends from preschool among the guests, it doubled as a happy reunion. After show, pizza and cake had long passed, the kids were still chasing each other down the Harry Potter-worthy hallways with their custom wands and balloon swords. Neither Bruno nor Tobin wanted to leave…

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Big Sister

November 10th, 2012 by ninja

Tobin and Mika can still remember these days, and these, but time is marching on and Nara has grown into a big girl as well. A few days ago, she got her very own baby brother and has shown a lot of interest and compassion from day one. We are looking forward to these two kids growing up together and watching out for each other. Of course, building towers with our big kids was a welcome distraction at the hospital visit. Congratulations to Team Nara again!

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Early Nor’easter

November 8th, 2012 by ninja

Just a week after Tropical Storm Hurricane Sandy wrecked large parts of our city, Winter Storm Athena brought several inches of snow and severe wind gusts to our region. The kids were ecstatic about the snow, as usual. Everybody else was gnashing their teeth – with one notable exception: our awesome babysitter, Björn! This is the scene i came home to after work…

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Cheetah 6D5

November 5th, 2012 by ninja

As an emerging writer, Tobin is curious about the spelling of his favorite words and asks us many questions. He also goes out on a limb and scribbles little notes to himself. When i found this one in his pocket, i had no idea what the cryptic message could possibly mean. The answer is easy, if your brain works like a Kindergartener: “Cheetahs can run as fast as 65 mph!”
Don’t see it? Cheetah as rough sketch on the left, 6-D-5 pronounces six-dee-five = 65!

3 Comments | Category: Drawings, Writings