Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day picnics and singing cowboys on horses

Dear Lauren -
I had such a wonderful Fathers Day with you. I want to tell you about all the nice things that you made me, and what we did to celebrate - just the two of us.

First, on Friday when your mom dropped you off, we had a special dinner. Momma and Otto stayed, and we had David and Stephanie and Cole come over also. Stephanie was pregnant with their new baby, who will be a girl, but I don;t know what her name will be. Cole is your friend, here is a picture of Cole and you when you were about 2-1/2 years old.

We had fresh crab with melted butter, and salad (you hate salad), and green beans and corn on the cob. You like when I pick the crab out of its shell and give it to you for dipping in the melted butter. I don;t think that Otto had any crab, but your mother liked it. You were a big helper, and set the table. First you cleared off all the toys, and then spread out an old white sheet. We eat crab off of the coffee table in the living room, sitting on the floor. The sheet is for the melted butter. After dinner, you played trains with Cole, and David, Stephanie and I hung out and talked. It was a very fun night, we stayed up late and then had our stories ("I Love you, Stinky Face" and "Red is a Dragon") and songs (I don't remember exactly, but it was probably "A You're Adorable" and "Twinkle Little Star" two times.)

On Saturday, we played around the house a little bit and then went to visit my friend Alison (she has a cat named Blake that you played with). We also shopped for our picnic lunch for the play on Sunday.

Sunday morning, we drove up to Mill Valley, near Mt. Tamalpaias. We were going to see the Mountain Play, which is a musical play they do every year at an amphitheatre on top of Mt. Tam.

This year it was Oklahoma, and it was going to have real horses and carriages in it. We went to a place where we parked, and took a yellow school bus up the mountain with a bunch of other people.

We go to the play very early, so we could put our stuff in a good spot. Then we went to watch a puppet show about animals in a circus. They had a horse with a girl who cvould ride it, and a lion and an elephant. Some clowns too, but the horse was your favorite, and the lion and the elephant were tied for my favorite. We watched the puppets twice whele we waited for the play to start.

We got you a straw cowboy hat, which was good since it was very sunny. We had a lot of sunscreen too, so nobody got sunburned.

The play was very exciting. It started with a man, Curly, who rode in singing a song called "Oh, what a beautiful morning".

There was a lot of dancing, and horses. There was a stagecoach which came it with two horses pulling it. They driver of the stagecoach had to make the horses go backwards when he wanted them to turn around. it was great.

We ate our picnic lunch, and then we took the bus back down the mountain and drove home.

You were a great helper all day. You helped plan what we were going to have for lunch. You helped carry stuff. You helped pick out a spot to sit.

I really enjoy spending time with you. It's a lot of fun to do things with you, I like when you cuddle up next to me when you're sleepy and put your head on my shoulder. I like when we share things to eat. I like when we do things that make you happy.

Ohm I almost forgot to talk about all the nice things you made me. You made me a tile at a pottery shop that I can put hot things on. You made me a nice card which you wrote "Happy Father's Day" in. And, on the night befopre father's day, you made me a special picture. On one side there is a unicorn with sparkles all around it. He's jumping over a dolphin in the water. And, on the back were like 25 read hearts, as you always say "Hearts for 'I Love You'". You cut out some little shapes, hearts and triangles, and taped them in the corners. it was a very special present. I saved it.

I love you Lauren. You're growing up to be such a great little kid. I'm so happy and excited to see you grow. And I'm very lucky to be your daddy.

Love, Daddy

Monday, June 06, 2005

Campouts, tuna and rollercoasters

Dear Lauren -

We had a big weekend this last few days. First, on Friday night, we had a camp out at your school, Montessori Scotts Valley. A bunch of the kids from your class and some of their parents came up to the school at around 6:30. We set up tents in the playground area, and all the kids got to play until long after dark - well past your bedtime. We had a campfire, and you made me some Smores with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. You had a great time toasting your marshmallows. Some of the kids got their marshmallows caught on fire, but you were very careful with yours. You seemed to like making the Smores more than eating them. You never finished your second one.

You helped me pitch our tent, over near the slides. And you set up your pad and sleeping bag all very straight inside the tent. Your favorite two stuffed animals right now are a pink dragon which plays a betime song, and a pink My Little Pony (Pinkie Pie). Your friend Jenny was at the campout, but her mother couldn't stay. So, you invited Jenny to stay in the tent with us. She slept next to you, and you let her cuddle with Pinkie Pie. You slept in the middle, and by the morning, you were cuddled up right next to me. I had a great time camping with you and snuggling in our tent.

In the morning, we woke up and you and the other kids helped to make pancakes. You brought me one with blueberries and it was yummy. You helped pack up all our stuff into our 'camping car', an old VW van. And then, we said "see you later" to your teachers and took off.

Then you and I drove down to Monterrey to go to the aquarium. We saw them feed the tuna, in a huge aquarium. The tuna were very fast especially since they are so big. There were sharks too. We touched sea urchins and kelp and starfish, and saw some penguins. We watched the jellyfish, sea horses and sea dragons (one of my favorites, they look like plants).

After the aquarium, we had lunch in a restaurant (mac and cheese for you, a hamburger with cheese for me) and then... ice cream :-) On the ride back from Monterrey (it takes almost 2 hours in the VW) you got to ride in the very back of the van. There is a little bed area there, and we spread out a sleeping bag, and pillow, and your dragon and you slept back there for most of the drive home. Towards the end, you popped up and watched out the windows at the cars and things we drove past. I got to look at you in the mirror and think about how much I love you.

When we got back to San Francisco, we went over to my friend Steve and Faye's house. Steve has 2 little girls, Amber Lynn (sort of your age) and Alyssa (sort of older) and Faye has a 13-year old daughter named Natalie.

This is you and Amber Lynn.

You guys played baseball with a slip-and-slide going to home plate. It was a little cold and windy to be getting wet, so you mostly ran on it and didn't slide. You girls stayed home together, with Natalie in charge while the grownups went out for sushi. It was Natalie's first real babysitting job, and everyone was very excited. You looked like you had fun while we were out. When we came back, you were all curled up in front of the TV watching Hello Kitty.

After we got back, we had a fire in the back yard and you made Smores for the second night in a row.

The next morning, on Sunday, we all went to Great America.

We rode a merry go 'round.

And roller coasters.

You went tubing on the river with Steve. It was pretty warm, but it was windy, so getting wet was a little cold.

I had a great time with you, especially when we got to go on the roller coaster together.

I love you,