big puzzle


We have had this one for a couple weeks but Clovey can now do it all by herself! It is actually harder than it looks because the fish are so varied and colorful. Part of the challenge is to stick with a task that takes a bit more time. But now she probably has it memorized. ^_^

lately in photos

Sakura! Cherry blossoms! So beautiful!

Magnolias in the Lake Merritt gardens!

Emma is unable to get rid of her beloved purple coat.

Eating a baguette smothered with with butter and jam, and my favorite Heath ceramic mug at Cafe Clem.


Celebrating Chinese New Year at the Oakland Museum by making a dragon and dressing up.



Played at the best park ever! The Yerba Buena Gardens children’s playground wins for best slide.




learning about the mail


For Valentine’s Day we made some cards and sent them to Emma’s aunts, uncles and cousins that live in Los Angeles. I cut out animals from a roll of cute wrapping paper that I picked up at the reuse center and Emma pasted the animals on folded paper. We took a field trip to Paper Source and bought some red envelopes and came home to stamp (rubber stamp and postage stamp/sticker) and address them. The next day I thought it would be fun to walk downtown to the post office. The downtown Oakland post office is in a gorgeous old building and there was no line when we got there so bought some more postage stamps. We talked about all the p.o. boxes that we saw and dropped our valentine cards in a mail slot.

Since then I have actually had to mail a few other things and Emma has been super interested in the stamps, the writing on envelopes and such so today we made a mailbox. I used a shoe box and cut out a hole. She can lift the lid to take things out and then stick them back in again. I already had a whole bunch of little envelopes and cards for her to play with so we were good to go without any prep work involved. It was a fun activity to reinforce what she knows and include some pretend play. This could definitely be an activity that includes writing so we may incorporate that more next time. ^_^


garden plot: planting seeds

Today we went to our garden plot to check it out and see if we could start planting. We were happy to see that the soil looked good and found worms in the dirt. We watered and played around with a hoe. We decided to start with some bee friendly flowers and parsley. Next up is sugar peas. We covered our seeds with dirt and then straw to keep moisture in. We met some friendly master gardeners and talked about what to plant when and came home with some great info. I think Emma Clover is excited. I know that I am. ^_^



We love to visit the Lake Merritt gardens and today we saw five turtles in the big pond and two mallards in the smaller one. It really is a great place to hang out with little kids.


today I am happy


Today I am happy. It is my Dad’s birthday. My Mom was in the hospital and is released today to go home. Together they can celebrate. This picture was taken last month during our visit.


My little family here in Oakland is warm and well fed and glad to be together. We just found out that we are all set to start growing at the toddler garden. We have lots of seeds and enthusiastic to get our hands dirty.


Emma has been collecting lovely wooden toys for each Little Bear character. When she receives a new one she introduces them to the others. It is sweet.

It is a bright day in my heart even if outside it is cloudy. Emma and I still find all the magnolias and sakura blooming and the cute little gnomes on the electrical poles. Little signs of growth and happiness. ^_^