Home with Kids In SF

Hello there– Just home from a kid-filled week in San Francisco– Lots of quiet days breaking out the crayons and building blocks and library books.  I’m grateful to have sweet days with the 4 grand-kids up there.

My big occupation was keeping company with Little Lois while her Mom went to work– Here we are around the house.

     

One day Uncle Aaron picked us up for a morning with the cousins– Mae, Eero & baby Otto.
      

There was a park day out with friends.
     

And a morning inspection of the house remodel -almost done!!

     

It was a fine full week– love seeing how those grand-kids are growing and changing!  Thanks thanks Ani & Brian– and Aaron too.  It’s always the best to be together.

A Fine Week in San Francisco

Hello all– Home from a fine full week with kids in San Francisco.  The main event was sitting with Baby Lois for 3 days while her Mom worked, but there were long conversations over good meals with her parents, mornings with grand-kids Mae, Eero and baby Otto  and a park birthday party for 8 one year olds!

Little Lois and I spent our days sharing books –at home and the SF central library.

     

We spent a couple mornings hanging out with cousins Mae, Eero and baby Otto.
     

I especially loved snooping around the construction sight on Ani & Brian’s remodel.  It won’t be too much longer for them to move back in!

     

And the highlight of the week– a birthday party for 8 baby friends, all born in October 2016!  There were costumes and cake and lots of fun photos of all those cute kids!

     

So thanks Ani & Brian for taking me in, for beautiful meals at your table and pastry afternoons, for sharing the celebrations for little Lois.  It was the best.

Happy Grandma

Hey there– It’s been a grand week– we trooped up to San Francisco to meet our new baby grand-guy baby Otto!!  Hung out with his brother & sis– that Eero and Mae.  Watched baby Lois 3 days while her mom headed off to work and to top it off landed in Ojai today with the 3 big grand-girls to celebrate Maryann’s birthday #9!!  It was a fine full week!

It was good times with little Lois — reading, crawling, hanging out with Mom & Dad.

   

Always a great time with Mae & Eero –picking Mae up at school, out for ice cream, playing at home, and Mae & I assisting on Jessica’s extraordinary donut making day!

     

And then there was new baby Otto– sweet and tender– so much fun to study his little face and watch him squirm and wiggle!
    

To finish the week off, we trekked up to Ojai to get in on the fun of Maryann’s #9 splashy birthday party at the pool.  Love that friendly, inventive girl!

   

So it was the best week– lots of hugs and talks and playtime with grand-kids.  What more could a grandma ask for?!  And one more photo to remember that getting that perfect angelic grand-girls photo doesn’t always work out–

Our New Little Guy

He’s here!  Little Otto Acer, born on Monday, August 7th.  We’ve been waiting for this new little grand-guy, praying for his safe arrival and here he is, welcomed by his fine parents and big sis Mae and big brother Eero.  So so thankful for this new little life come into the big wide world.  God bless you Baby Otto in all that lies ahead.

     

 

Rain and Shine in San Francisco

 

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Hi friends– Back from a week of pounding rain followed by glorious sunshine in San Francisco.  Went up to watch little grand-girl Lois, while her mom trolleyed off to work, and to help pack a few boxes to empty the house for a remodel.  Funny — I have dozens of pictures of that Lois and not one to show you of boxes!

Loveable Lois and I read books, sang songs, danced around the living room and had long talks about all she has ahead…
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photos: Off to visit the pediatrician check-up, tummy-time!  & on the changing table.

And we spent a day with Mae & Eero (more grand-kids in SF).  That is always loads of lively fun fun!
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photos:  Mae absorbed in her new book, stop at the bookshop, Eero checking on his new cousin.

And in SF we usually find our way to good places to eat.
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photos: family fills the window seat at Smitten ice cream shop, a festive birthday dinner for Ani at Outerlands, Mediterranean roasted chicken wrap on the back patio at Souvla,  afternoon tea and desert at Tartine Manufactory.

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Thank you AA & Jessica, Ani & Brian for a best time talking and eating and walking with you and those sweet grand-kids.  Loved it.

San Francisco — Grandma Style!

 

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Hi friends– Two of our kids and their families live in San Francisco, so we’re often trekking up the Interstate.  Usually our stays are laced with scenic hikes, new restaurants, favorite books shops, and some fun touristing (I’m talking the Delores Mission around the corner from Bi Rite Ice Cream!).

But I’m just home from almost 3 weeks in SF with a whole new agenda– meeting and welcoming new baby Lois!  It was all snuggles on the couch, stroller walks, diaper changes and lots of early firsts–first bath, first visit to her pediatrician, first outing downtown…  I was besotted.  And loved the quieter, gentler version of this SF visit.

So here’s some highlights from those magical days with Little Lois and her newly minted parents, Ani & Brian.

Since our Lois arrived 10 days early, we spent her first few days washing up baby clothes and sheets and blankets and organizing her new room, things we had planned to do before she was born.
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There were some fun “firsts”– Here she is on her first day out to lunch,  her first check up with the pediatrician, after her first bath,  watching her first Cal Berkeley game with her grandma, her first trip down town SF.
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And, happily for me, there are two other grand-kids just across town.  So we there was some more chances to grand-mother away with our Mae and Eero.  Love those 2 bright and spunky kids.  photos: Mae in the box of buddies, out for a walk, story time with Gr. Larry, and Eero and his Dad watch a video of him knocking down the tower of blocks.
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And the best part of a grandma’s trip to SF?  The sweetest bit for me is watching our kids be such smart and tender parents.  It’s a whole new time of life for them and it’s a joy to watch them take it up so well.
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It was a marvelous memorable time and I’m so thankful that little Lois is here.  So much joy.
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Thanks Aaron, Jessica, Mae & Eero for the fun hang-outs!! And thanks too, to Ani & Brian for the sweetest time with the new baby Lois.

Children

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“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”
–Pablo Casals (1876-1973, Spanish composer, cellist & conductor)

Hi Friends– Loved this soon as I read it.  We have another little grand-girl in the family, arriving in October. And I’m imagining her already, daydreaming about reading stories and baking muffins together, praying for her as I stitch a quilt of sherbet colors for her crib.  She is an impending miracle, a unique and precious life coming into the world.  So thankful. God is good.

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**photo of our grand-girl Mae, last Halloween in her  astronaut costume.

Road Trip to San Francisco with those Grand-girls

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Morning fog across the hills at the old Fort Baker on the Bay (now a hotel, restaurant)

Hello friends–Just back from a trip up the coast with 3 girls in the backseat to San Francisco to hang out with their aunts, uncles and cousins.  We had a lot of crazy kid centric fun–  And stuck to our two rules– #1. No Grumping  #2. One Ice Cream Every Day!!   Here’s my favorite bits of the trip:

First stop, across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Discovery Museum, a wonderland for kids.
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Ani & Brian treated three girls all dressed in their best to a fancy Tea Party!
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We strolled down to Ocean Beach to take in a Corgi Fest!!  Over 600 Corgis on the run across the sand and in the water!!
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And there were plenty of picnics and playgrounds to round out the week!  (This day we were at the west end of Golden Gate Park!)
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And the sweetest for me is seeing those cousins–jump and laugh and color and play together.  Big Hugs for Maryann, Charlotte, Jobay and Little Mae (and Eero back by the window!!).
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Thanks once again Ani & Brian, AA & Jessica for the good times together.  There’s nothing I love more than days with you all. It’s the best.

Quick San Francisco Weekend

IMG_3707Hi all– It was a grand grandkid time.  If you some grandkids yourself, you know what I mean.  We made a dash up to SF last weekend to talk and play and read books and eat with our kids. There were some sweet moments.  Here’s my favorites…

Saturday morning we trekked north across the bridge to the old Fort Baker, historic military quarters, that have now been transformed into a lodge.  We ate at the the Murray Circle restaurant there, overlooking the Bay and the Golden Gate.  (pictures: Mae & her mom waiting for brunch, view from our table on the porch, chicken hash & eggs)
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We took a blustery afternoon stroll down to Ocean Beach through the Sunset– blue skies and some good sand digging with our Mae.  (pictures: Aaron & Grandpa with Mae, some good sandy digging, walk up from the beach).
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And it was good to just kick back around the house and have some grand-kid time.  (pictures: Grandpa and Eero having a “conversation,”  opening some belated Christmas gifts together)
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Sunday we ended up at Ani & Brian’s for for luscious lunch.  It was the last day of their “vegetarian January” so we got in on butternut squash soup and a bright citrus salad!  Love hanging out with them and, of course, that dog Harry.  (pictures: warming soup!  Bri & Ani, and out walking with that Harry.)
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Thankful for a weekend with you all– thanks for the office tour AA, thanks for the time to talk at coffee Jessica–you know I love that, thanks for the hugs & books & smiles Eero and Mae, thanks for the beach walk & the beautiful lunch Ani & Bri.  It was the best!

Meeting our new little Eero

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Aaron with his new little Eero (thanks for the photo, Jessica)

Hi Friends–  We made a quick trip, up the interstate to San Francisco this past weekend to meet brand new baby Eero!  So much cuddling and singing and studying that little guys sweet face.  It was a joy.  Plus we got to hang out with his big sister Mae and their fine parents, A + J.  And good times, too with Ani and Brian.  Here’s just a few pics:

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DSC02569We loved being at Aaron and Jessica’s– the chance to play with our grand-girl Mae and catch up with our kids and have a scrumptious Mother’s Day waffle breakfast around their table.

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11259859_10153369268704665_5428222334612262377_nAnd we had some great Ani & Brian hang out time too– a snacky lunch at the Sunset Brewing Company and Ani’s yeasty waffles.  Plus another momental hike down to the beach for coffee and back up through Golden Gate Park.  It was grand.

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So long for now little Eero.  Hope to see you again real soon– God bless and keep you.

Moments with Mae

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Hi there friends–  Well, last weekend was a whirl of sweet fun.  Aaron and Jessica were on a trip so they brought me up to San Francisco and flew Laurel out from Chicago and Ani trekked a couple miles across town for a “Girls Weekend” to babysit our Mae!!     Here’s the highlights:

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There was squishy Playdough and lots of story reading.

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We set out along the park and down to Mae’s favorite breakfast spot for oatmeal topped with yogurt, nuts and fruit.  Here’s she’s looking over all the toppings with Aunt Ani.

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10317781_10103864566669223_8585837015772320323_o   10830491_10103864566664233_8849017285676404723_oAnd Uncle Brian ferried us all down to Chrissy Field for a Taco picnic, some bouncy ball playing and a walk along the bay toward the Golden Gate.

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And at the end of the day, there was always bath time– It was three days with little Mae and my two girls– “the aunties”. What could be better than that?

 

Quick Trip to San Francisco

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Larry browsing in the Booksmith Shop on Haight–my favorite SF book store.

Hi all– This past weekend found Larry and I zipping up and down the interstate 5 for a quick trip to see kids in San Francisco–  It involved scrumptious eating, a favorite book shop, sweet girl hugs and a lot of cheering at a football game.  Here’s some of
the fun:

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Watching my favorite part of the football game– the half time show!  And 3 fervent football fans– Go Bears!!  (I won’t mention who won– Cal v. UCLA).

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Jessica served us flavorful, fortifying bowls of lentil soup at their new place.  Loved sitting around the table with them.  And we dipped in to a family style supper with Ani & Brian at the very Italian Trattoria da Vittorio.

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And here’s our huggable Mae– in her small rocker and walking home from the playground with Dad and her Grandpa Larry.  We can’t get enough of that girl…

Thankful Again

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There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.
Ralph H. Blum

Hi friends– Cozy under a blanket on a foggy morning in San Francisco.  You can hear the fog horn down on the bay.  It’s a joy to be up here with our kids for a 4 day weekend.  At times like this, it’s easy to be thankful

So I am thankful for…
#1. a morning hike through the quietly verdant Muir Woods with kids
#2. giggles and waves (her newly learned skill) from our baby Mae
#3. talk at the table over over gracious meals (that someone else prepared)
#4. God’s good mercies new every morning

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.”  –I Chronicles 16:34

P.S.– The photo above is along a trail in Muir Woods–beautifully restoring.

The Great Grandparents in San Francisco

IMG_7725Hello friends–It was up to San Francisco last weekend to see baby Mae–with her 3 great grandparents in tow.  Enjoying it all with my mom and Larry’s folks, I want to say the whole trip was big fun.  Here’s a few of the highlights:

IMG_4868     1234558_10151955590189665_66417278_nLittle Mae was all smiles when she met the great grandparents for the first time.  And there were plenty of photos of this happy meeting!

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IMG_4931     IMG_4929We had some beautiful meals and good times talking around the table– sunny breakfasts with Ani & Brian.  Family dinner Saturday night with Aaron & Jessica.

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Aaron and his Grandpa Stu spent an afternoon pouring over the architectural plans for the remodel of their house.  We met up with Jessica’s friendly folks (even more grandparents for Mae!) who were out on a roadtrip from upstate New York.  There was an incredible pizza lunch out on the town followed up by the obligatory ice cream cone.

IMG_4860It was a grand old time with all these grandparents (and great-grands) in town.  And baby Mae was as adorable as ever!  Thanks Mom and Helen & Stu.  You’re terrific travel buddies!

San Francisco Great Eight

IMG_4185A view across the water to the Bay Bridge late one night in San Francisco.

Hi friends– If you have already read too many posts about SF on this blog, feel free to skip right on over this one– because here I go again.  I just love, love time with our kids up there and want to remember all the sweet moments.  I do read these things over and over to relive all the fun–my little bloggy scrapbook.  So here is the “great eight” of my week in San Francisco:

IMG_4080     IMG_3991IMG_3999     IMG_4018    #1. One sunny morning I set off alone on a 5 hour walk, down through the cozy houses of the Sunset, the length of Golden Gate Park, past Stowe lake, through wooded glens, up to the glass conservatory, then to Cole Valley for lunch and down bustling Irving Street with a stop for reading and a sweet blueberry mini pie.

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IMG_4105     IMG_4116     #2.  Ani’s day off, we headed downtown for a “girls’ day out–”  Started off at the new Yelp offices where she’ll be working starting next week.  The best taco lunch was followed by a stroll down to the Ferry Building for a little shopping.  then we circled around to Samovar for tea and scones with terrific city views.

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#3.  Loved the couple great meals at Bar Jules with Jessica, Aaron and baby Mae.  I especially like it’s changing concise blackboard menu, the bowls of fresh produce on the counter, the cooking bustle in plain view.  If I could start a restaurant (my secret day dream), it would look a lot like Bar Jules. Thanks AA & J.

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IMG_3965     IMG_4208#4.  If you know me, then you know one of the best parts of any trip to SF is cuddling our new baby Mae.  She’s nearly three months old and we couldn’t love that girl more.  I had my first chance to read her a book!! Now that was fun!

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#5.  We had the happy coincidence of visiting SF the same week as Jessica’s sis and her family from New York.  Great to catch up with Jaci and Dave, two of the dearest people around– and to spend an adventurous night out at the Exploritorium with their 2 boys.

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IMG_4221     IMG_4227#6.  Thursday Aaron, baby Mae and I drove over to Wise Sons Delicatessen for a quiet lunch, followed by a downhill walk, strollering Mae along the bay to watch the bobbing boats and kite surfers.  Nothing better than a good walk & talk with one of my kids.  Just what a mom loves.

IMG_4125     IMG_4156#7.  Ani, Brian, Harry the dog and I headed to Golden Gate Park with a stop on the way at the Wooly Pig Cafe to pick up super sandwiches and some bacon/maple taffy for dessert.  Harry had big fun running to his heart’s content across the grass and we just sat and soaked up the sunshine.

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IMG_4309     IMG_4311    #8.  At the end of the week, Larry drove on up to join us.  Saturday we walked down for coffee and just kept on walking to the ocean, along the cliffs, through neighborhoods and back across the park for home.  Brian’s phone, which tracks his every step, told us our morning coffee walk ended up being 7.5 miles!  Last photo, Harry ran ahead and waited for us at the front door.  Welcome Home!

All in all, it was a marvelous, memorable week.  Thanks Brian, Ani, Aaron, Jessica and baby Mae for all the good times together…

Family Top Ten in San Francisco

IMG_7714Hi friends– We’re home.  After 6 fine days in San Francisco.  I was absolutely heart-warmed by all the time with our kids here.  Here’s our the top ten:

IMG_2190    photo    photo#1.  Getting acquainted with little baby Mae–lots of cuddles and imagining the grand little girl she’ll grow to be ahead…  #2.  Catching up with Mae’s other grandparents, Alfie and Karen, in from upstate New York to see Mae as well.  Kind, fun  people.

1011884_10151714067189238_28961794_n     1006119_10151714067239238_1585196797_n#3.  Watching Aaron and Jessica as new parents.  It’s the most tender, wonderful thing to see you kids walk into that new vocation with grace and all that joy (as well as the sleepless nights and diaper changes).

IMG_2123     IMG_2139#4.  Giving AA & J gifts for sweet Mae– a stack of favorite books and the gray checked quilt I’ve been beavering away on the last months.

IMG_2099     IMG_2205#5.  Sitting alone for an early morning breakfast, just me, my book and a cup of tea, in the breakfast room at the Hotel Drisco.  Perfect.  #6. Dinner at the Zuni Cafe with Larry and kids.  I’ve been wishing to go there for a long time.

992869_10151725421534238_1993870902_n     IMG_2245#7.  Quiet conversations with Aaron and Jessica over beautiful meals. In the picture, Aaron is showing me house remodel plans.  #8.  Grand day out with Ani, shopping and eating and talking all day…  Here she is on our stroll across the Cal campus.

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#9.  Trip up to Petaluma, across the Golden Gate and along the bay with a stop in the old city center for coffee and chocolate with Ani and Brian.  #10.  Getting to know Harry– Ani and Brian’s new adopted pet– the sweetest dog in SF.