Benji’s First Bellevue Arts Fair

OK, actually, I just realized that Ian and I went to the Bellevue Arts Fair shortly before Benji was born in 2012. But this is his first one ex-utero.

We drove to the South Kirkland Park and Ride and took a bus to downtown Bellevue. This saved us the misery of trying to drive there. Like any good mom, I had us take a selfie.

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On the bus.

We had to walk a ways from the bus stop to the fair — not super far, but with legs as short as Benji’s, it was still plenty long. Plus, he had to circle around every tree, naming them as planets: “This Mercury.” (One loop around the tree.) “This Venus.” (One loop around the next tree.) Etc. This was predicated by the fact that the trees were growing out of round iron grilles set into the sidewalk that, honestly, did look a bit planetlike, especially all lined up in a row. OK; this is probably a case of “if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail” — “If you like planets, every round thing resembles planets.” Continue Reading >>

Making Planets

Today we went over to my parents’ house and made planets.

First, we calculated relative sizes of planets, assuming Jupiter was 36″ in diameter. For reference, Pluto was about 0.2″ (sadly, too small to draw in the heart or any other newly-discovered features) and Earth was 3″. In that size system, the sun would be 360″ in diameter, so we skipped the sun.

Then, we searched all over the house to find round things the correct diameter that we could trace.

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After that, we traced planets onto their correct color of construction paper and cut out the planets. Shown are Saturn (missing its rings, and an amazing checkerboard, due to lack of construction paper) with Earth sitting on it. In the foreground are Venus, Uranus, and Neptune. I’m not sure where Mars and Pluto went. Continue Reading >>

Reading and Other Fun Things

Benji has repeatedly told me he prefers riding in the car to riding on the bike. When asked why, he usually tells me that (a) he can see more in the car (probably not true when we use the Xtracycle); (b) I tell more stories in the car (definitely true, since I spend more time breathing hard on the bike); (c) he didn’t have to wear a helmet in the car (true).

But another reason may be that he can do more things without worrying about dropping and losing them. For example, I don’t give him books on the bike because if he drops them, they’re gone forever. In the car, not such a problem. Continue Reading >>

Two Benji Vignettes

A couple quick things from our trip back:

Benji was a traveling champ, and tolerated all the waiting in line and hustling around and sitting in seats for endless periods of time, all with great tolerance. We had quite a bit of luggage to juggle, between his bags, his carseat, our two bags each, etc., plus needing to have one hand free to hold his hand and make sure he didn’t stray. Anyway, he did super, and just sipped his water whenever his ears felt painful on the ascent or descent. The rest of the flight, we pretty much just read books and ate snacks; it helps that we had a super-fast flight, just over two hours. Continue Reading >>

Visiting LA

We’ve been in LA since Thursday, celebrating my Nana’s 85th birthday. Benji has had so many fun experiences, I don’t think I can document many of them. But here are a few:

At the airport:

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At Great-Nana’s house:

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Benji demonstrates how some drums have foot pedals.

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Out and about:

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At the Alhambra Headquarters Fire Station
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Fire engines look pretty similar even thousands of miles apart.
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Firefighter Fernando gives us the grand tour.
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Very long urban search & rescue truck
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At Almansor Park pouring wood chips over a ball
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Looking at a June bug with Aunt Colleen (the bug is by Benji's foot)
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More fire trucks, this time San Gabriel trucks near Nana's house