Well, I can finally say that this is what I've been helping to build for 2 and a half years. It's been a long time coming -- at times it seemed it wasn't going to happen. But Amazon put the device up for sale this morning, and the orders are coming in now. Already a lot of press has been given the Kindle -- Jeff Bezos and the Amazon marketing folks really did a good job of getting early positive press coverage. It even looks like it will be on the cover of Newsweek this week. So for better or for worse, my work is now going through the grinder of hi tech criticism. We'll see what happens in the coming weeks and months. It is quite nerve-wracking.
This Halloween, Emma decided to go with what worked well for her last year: Little Bo Peep. Bryce, however, did not want to be her sheep again. In fact, I doubt that little sheep costume would even fit anymore. Besides, that costume was so hot on him that when I took him out last year he was drenched in sweat. Instead, he decided on being a monkey, no doubt in honor of his favorite action hero, Curious George. He especially liked the little banana that sticks out of the right pocket.
In other news, I finally ventured down under our house in the crawl space (see above) to pull out the surround sound system the last owners had manually installed. I sure hope we don't decide in the future that we actually want the surround -- that area under the house almost made me claustrophobic. Some areas I had to turn my head sideways and squeeze between the dirt on one side and pipes on the other. Emma could hear where I was underneath the house, groping around, avoiding the sewage pipes and inhaling liters of dust. She would keep screaming, "DADDY, ARE YOU ALRIGHT.....? Mommy, daddy sounds very bad under there. I think he's probably stuck" I told her afterwards I was doing my yearly spelunking -- I don't think that's the right word, but if she ever mentions it, now you'll know what she means.
Each year since Emma was born, we've made a point of enjoying the harvest season and doing things to celebrate our favorite time of year. Last year we visited Hudson with Stan and Virginia to enjoy the beautiful autumn season in Ohio. The 2 years before that we visited Apple Hill in the Sierras with my parents. I don't know how age has affected us in this way, but we both have come to really enjoy the fall season more than others. Maybe I didn't before because it represented the start of another long year of studying.
In any case, I'm not sure we're going to take a trip this year, but at least we made it to the pumpkin patch. There are several cool ones around here; this one had more than enough pumpkins to choose from, a cool train that went around the field, and an enormous prize pumpkin that weighs 1300 lbs.
We had a lot of fun with Jessica and Danilo's family at Disneyland recently. We were there between Labor Day and the following Thursday. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, which makes things nice, because they let you enter the park 30 minutes early, and you can take the monorail from just outside the hotel right into Tomorrowland.
Although it was really hot the first day we were there, it cooled off over the next few days. Also, even though of course there were lots of people both days in the park, the lines never seemed to be too long. It didn't hurt to be going on mainly kiddy rides instead of rides like Space Mountain or Matterhorn. Although we did end up going on both Splash Mountain (which Emma hated because it soaked her Ariel dress), and Pirates of the Carribean several times. We also got to see the parade at the end of the day, with floats from all of their favorite Disney stories. All in all, 2 very good days. She also got to meet most of the Disney characters and get photos and signatures from them. Happy days!
We had lots of fun celebrating Bryce's and Emma's 2nd and 4th birthdays. Lots of cake and lots of ice cream. Presents, streamers, princesses, prices, monkeys, dragons, balloons. You name it, we probably had it. Emma's birthday went very well. Becky's castle cake stayed together fine (it was questionable the night before -- I think we got the wrong kind of frosting), and the kids had a blast.
We've been able to do lots of fun things over the past few months. In early May, we spent a week with Mom and Dad at their Waihoai timeshare in Kauai. Obviously it was very enjoyable; we would usually go with the kids to the beach or the swimming pool in the morning, and then do some other activity in the afternoon. As you can see, Bryce especially enjoyed being "master of the buckets" -- he liked to transfer water from one bucket to the next, and sometimes mix in some sand. A couple of times, we took Emma out knee-deep in the water, and let her feed frozen peas to the fish.
Aside from Hawaii, we also enjoyed Stan and Virginia's visit later in May, and went with them to Chico to visit Stan's parents. They seem to be in very good health for their age. Emma enjoyed the company of Misty Rose (the dog), though she was disappointed the cat was too shy to come out.
Anyways, here are some new pics. Hope you enjoy them
Lots has happened since last post. Rather than typing in everything that has happened, we will simply post several pictures that represent some of the highlights over the past 4 months. These fun times include playing with friends, playing with cousins, enjoying the holidays, playing dressup (which both Emma and Bryce enjoy....for now), going to fun parks, and, of course, eating.