Dec 27, 2009

Liam's first Christmas in the U.S.

We had a great Christmas here in Davis and were joined by Grandparents Tim and Sally and Uncle Bri.  Our "Charlie Brown" Chrismtas tree was loaded up with wonderful ornaments, including some Rajasthani dolls and elephants brought back from India, a Kenyan Santa from the Quirks, a cute raccoon from the Warings, and a wooden snowflake from Aunt Marsha.  Here's a shot of Brian and Liam reading next to the tree:



Liam pretty-much, kind-of, sort-of got the whole Christmas story thing.  He semi-dictated a letter to Santa, thanking him for being nice to the reindeer, but when it came time to leave out snacks for them, he decided he was Rudolph and ate up the carrots and apples we were urging him to leave for his night-time visitors.  Presents were fun and included a school backpack (very grown up), some beautiful homemade blocks from Topher and Marie, some instruments, and some tubby toys (the biggest hit).  He unwrapped most of them on his own, but mostly enjoyed cutting the wrapping paper with his scissors, and was less inclined to actually find out what was inside each box.






We enjoyed a nice Christmas dinner with our upstairs neighbors, Deepa and Anand:

Some good walks (I think my mom is the crocodile from Peter Pan in this photo and Liam is pretending to be a ferocious Captain Hook):


Liam's favorite activity, reading time (my dad probably read this book to Liam about eight times):


And some good family time:




We gratefully received letters, gifts and photos from so many of you and wished, of course, that we could see you all, but we thought of you and hope you, too, had a good Christmas. 


Dec 14, 2009

Tahoe Holiday


We got to spend a delicious day in Tahoe with our friends Chris and Christine Hanson, and their friends.  It was magical partly because of the snow.  It. Was. Perfect.  Not for skiing, but for everything else.  It was that ideal mixture of dry and fluffy but just warm enough to be as malleable as clay of the gods.  It was the kind of snow that is deeply satisfying to your kids, both inner and extant.

We left Davis a bit late (after gymnastics, you see) and with traffic, snow, putting on and driving with chains, and more snow and more traffic, it was more than 3 hours before we arrived.  The awesome part was that Liam was a total trouper throughout the whole ride.  Not only did he not complain, but self entertained, and allowing us to talk to each other the way other adults do.  It was great:

When we arrived there was already two and half feet on the ground, and the place looked marvelous:

We spent that afternoon and evening rollicking in the snow and digging paths, building chutes, forts, and snow people.  Chris helped me build an awesome snow arch that stood a magnificent 6 feet:

We went to sleep nice and tired, and got up the next day to find that another foot and a half had fallen overnight.  This was my trail from a morning venture to the car for the camera.

Again, we played in the snow, and friends played with Liam.  The snow made it easy to get that two-year old excitement about the world.  Chris and Luna played with him in the early morning

Then Ilyse and Liam played doggies, and took turns feeding each other snow:


Then, all-of-a-sudden, we had to go home.   But what a holiday.

Santa in Solano Park



We set up our 3rd family Christmas tree on Friday night.  It might be the first one Liam remembers.  Or not.  It's a tall and spindly thing, and we keep it in a pressure cooker.  Just our style.  That night we also went to the Solano Park community center for a Christmas dinner, at which Liam met Santa.

Here, Santa responds to Liam's probing questions regarding the stability of a mass of toys upon an airborne sleigh undergoing certain amounts of angular momentum.  I didn't really follow the conversation, it got too technical.


Eventually I decide to take a picture as I imagine any good dad should.  But neither Liam nore Santa are keen on the idea of being documented as having met.  Perhaps it's because of the previous discussions and trade secrets, but I can only guess.

Nov 22, 2009

Gymnastics

A Davis Double Decker Bus

Liam, and his father, get their first rides on a real double-decker, straight from the UK.

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 A five dollar jogging stroller
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and other wonders, all here (that means click on the photo below, Mom and Dad):
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Nov 2, 2009

Autumn Adventures

So, this is our first fall in the US with Liam, and his first Halloween.  Adventures from Liam's first October not spent in Kodaikanal have included:

A Hay Maze!



"Find the little people"

Peach Picking

And his Charlie Dog costume.  Charlie Dog is Liam's favorite toy, a little stuffed puppy dog that Grandma Marie got for him.  Charlie gets a lot of love.


For a whole album:



Oct 16, 2009

The Perfect Fall

A visit back to Vermont.  In the Fall.  In that prefect week at the height of the spectacle of the leaves.  Here are a few snippets, and at the bottom is a link to a whole album.









And, for those who want more, here's an entire flickr ablum:

Sep 6, 2009

Three kids eating Melon

So we had Tad and Elle over last night because their parents were going out for some adult time (at a coffee place). The treo started off the evening play-date with some Orange HoneyDew that was so good that it could not be put down.

Liam tries all angles.


No let up.


Elle pounds it in.

Aug 27, 2009

Summer in Davis

School started yesterday in Davis, which means summer is starting to end, which means we're due to share an update (or at least the bits of our summer we've haphazardly managed to document in photos):

Liam has settled wonderfully into life in on-campus family housing. He's taking advantage of all the perks:

  • play time with friends like Elle in the sandbox right outside our door














  • activities at the community center like finger painting

  • and this other great new thing called birthday parties where they have another wonderful thing called chocolate cake (if you haven't happened upon chocolate cake, Liam suggests you ask around--you'll love it!).

Liam continues to adore reading books. He will take us on many-hour book reading marathons to the point that we have to insist that it's now time to go outside. He also loves talking (this is how he puts himself to sleep) and can parrot almost anything, usually to our amusement and sometimes to our dismay. Recent funny phrases have included:
  • "I love my California home." (Said at 3a.m. during a diaper change when Grandma Sally was here taking care of him).
  • "What's your whole name?" (Said to every person he meets--he recently learned that his whole name is "Liam Kiran Waring").
  • "Get a job, Hippy." (Taught to him by his Uncle Brian, who, at least for this month, is unemployed).
  • "Can I have some of your naan?" (Said to an Indian neighbor tonight when she brought by food).

Tim has been working hard on the first chapter of his dissertation and took two weeks to attend a summer school session in Italy on networks and innovation in Trento.

The conference center was up at the top of a cliff connected to town by a gondola (of the cabled variety, not punted). Here's a sampling of the view he enjoyed:
And here he is at some vineyards near the conference center:
Before flying back home to us, he made a quick stop in Venice (where he looked at, but didn't ride in a punted gondola):


My (Katie's) biggest task has been growing a baby (yes, we're pregnant again and due in late February).I've been sleeping, almost as much as Liam (not the best for picture taking), and am gradually regaining my energy as I exit the first trimester. Life for me has included teaching two community college classes during the summer term at my old haunt, Berkeley City College. I enjoyed taking a 6:25 a.m. train there and then riding up to campus on my bike--Liam and Tim actually joined me on the last train/bike trip:
I continue to write for 3-4 hours every day while Liam and Tim enjoy some play time together. My travel highlight was our family trip to Waterton, Alberta, to meet up with my mom's extended family. Unfortunately, my parents couldn't make it because of my mom's imminent back surgery (the surgery has since happened and Mom is up and driving and walking again!), but we enjoyed the company of Brian and Anna and all the wonderful Bulger relatives:




We're doing well and, though quite busy, we're enjoying life as a young family. Health is on our minds these days. First, for our parents, and particularly Marie at the moment, as she deals with some serious back pain. And, second, with national and California-based health care, particularly a public option, for which Tim and I have tried to commit to doing at least one bit of activism a day.

We think of our friends and old home in India often. The other day on our morning walk, I pointed out Detura flowers to Liam, and reminded him that they line the road leading to our old home in Kodai.

"We're going to Shelton Cottage right now?" Liam asked.

Oh, how I wished we could just time travel over there and say hello, even just for an hour.

But, for the moment, all three of us "love our California home." Come visit us!

Jun 22, 2009

Bye to Kodai, Back in Cali

We're now back "State-side," as they say in south India. We love being in the U.S. for a number of reasons, but we still miss our many wonderful friends and our old home in Kodai.


The journey to our new home was a long one. At the end of April, we bid a sad farewell to our friends and 'family' in Kodaikanal.


Then we spent two weeks in Thailand with our friends Dio and Judith. (Liam still says "Member Dio and Judith?" and "Member Catalina Elephant?" (see below)).





Then we visited our families on both coasts before returning to Davis, CA, where we're set up in campus family housing. We're in the full swing of life here, writing, working, parenting, cooking, sweeping, cleaning and sleeping (without the help of Rani and John), but we've been welcomed by some great friends and really like our new home. Here's Liam getting to know his neighbors:


We just returned from a wonderful hike in the Sierra Nevada with some old friends.





See MORE photos by clicking below, and come visit us, if you, too, are "State-side":

http://aliandcedar.com/gallery/v/others/warings/Bye+Kodai+and+Beyond/