December 25, 2014

Movie: Christmas Fight

I think the point of this is that if you don't know the meaning of defeat you can never be defeated.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:22 AM

November 9, 2014

Movie: Dungeons and Dreidels

Felix, unable to spend enough time with the older kids who are teaching him Dungeons and Dragons, has recruited Gideon for an at-home game. It's a stripped down version: no adventures, no battles, no character sheets. All they do is declare increments of treasure, a sort of imaginary building of the perfect Lego figure. They can do this for hours and, in a unique twist, use a dreidel to punctuate the turns.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:10 PM

September 2, 2014

Movies: All the Gid swimming you could possibly want and a bit of Felix too

Not too busy swimming to mess with my camera....

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:01 AM

Movie: The Wonderful Reader of Oz

What a book, what a reader!

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:00 AM

May 23, 2014

Audio: A shooting star

Sung while sitting together watching for shooting stars one night.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:59 AM

December 28, 2013

Movie: Spelunking with the boys

What a very amazing place, and what very brave boys to slither down a rock tube onto a bit of beach occasionally washed with tide! Note the very excellent camera work by Felix.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:03 AM

October 18, 2013

Movie: Gideon and Felix recite

That Gideon has memorized Felix's poem is no surprise: he'd heard it plenty at home in the days leading up to this recital at school. That Felix invited Gideon up and was so very sweet to him, well, that shouldn't be a surprise--Felix is a sweet, sweet boy--but somehow it still is. Good job both!

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:52 AM

September 14, 2013

Movie: New tub, old games

Gid, you need better strategy.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:01 PM

July 24, 2013

Movie: Legotime

The boys like Lego. This cannot conceivably be news to you, or to any parent of boys. Mildly news worthy is that they can now play with Legos alongside one another for minutes at a time.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:35 AM

July 14, 2013

Movie: Beach boys

As it happens, Gideon asked me this evening what it said on his PJs; "Dad's Rock Star," I dutifully replied. He wanted to know what a rock star looks like. I told him it was often a boy with long hair and a lot of energy and who seemed to be having a really great time, and what's more, if he got good at an instrument and singing then he and Felix could form a rock band and become rock stars. And then I remembered: they already have.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:21 AM

July 5, 2013

Movie: Playing with Fire

Found this on the camera Shannon sometimes borrows. So that's what they do with their time together....

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:29 AM

June 3, 2013

Movie: Enjoying some pops

Mildly caffeinated summer fun!

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:32 AM

February 24, 2013

Tahoe with the Thomassons

Another trip to Tahoe, this time with the Thomassons. Lots of overlapping interests with them--Lego, sledding, 3D design--so no surprise we had a great time!

And, by way of contribution to the FAIL corpus, a classic sledding movie:

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:51 AM

December 25, 2012

Winter vacation down south

Not so very far south, but a wonderful time was had by all.

Posted by atshuldiner at 2:43 AM

November 30, 2012


Gideon is in a phase where he repeats everything Felix says:

Felix: Mama, can you help me to repair my nunchuks (which he's made at school from rolls of cardboard)

Gideon: Mama, I want some porkchops.

Posted by talia at 4:32 PM

September 15, 2012

Cassini Ranch Camping

Camping. Why don't we do it every day? How do we survive even one night?

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:04 PM

August 26, 2012

Movie: Off to the races!

Fairfax, bike mad, had a track set up this weekend. Brother against brother, it was the Civil War of Striders.

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:55 AM

August 20, 2012

Movie: The First Day

The boys went off to school today, Felix to his first day of kindergarten, Gideon to his first day at the Corner School with Teacher Denise. A huge step for the whole gang!

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:51 AM

June 28, 2012

Movie: Dog's jaw

Had a terrible attack of my old malady the other day....

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:40 AM

June 12, 2012

The boys abroad

We just spent several weeks traveling and now we have only the memories, plus about a million photos, of which a select few here:

A wonderful trip in many ways, but exhausting for one and all. As with all good vacations, we are happy to back!

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:34 AM

May 11, 2012


Gideon is two! We won't pretend it's all been easy, but most of it's been wonderful. Some highlights from the life of Gid:

A big year for sure, but, like your brother before you there's surely some things you have not done, right? Let's compare:

What hadn't Felix ever done at age two, and Gideon by comparison?

* Flown in a helicopter (though you sure do talk about it often enough): Gid is more into fire trucks. Hasn't ridden one yet.
* Said your middle name: ditto.
* Had a haircut: not so! Gideon has had some subtle trimming here and there.
* Attended an inauguration in person (though you did watch simulcast): Not your fault, no inaugurations to attend, yet.
* Gone to any Dutch island other than Schiermonnikoog or Terschelling: How sad, you've been to none of them, but at least you'll get to visit the Netherlands for the first time ever in a week or so!
* Felt regret: Huh, that's an interesting one. I can't quite put my finger on it, but somehow I think you may have felt this. You certainly don't let it stop you though.
* Had a sibling: Oh yes you have!
* Eaten a steak (though you have had chorizo!): Wow, that's a difference, you've eaten a TON of steak. In fact, you've had chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, crab, oysters, goat, lamb, and buffalo.
* Contemplated anything: True dat.
* Gone poo poo in the toilet without freaking out: Or, for that matter, at all.
* Scratched yourself: Nope, never done it.
* Let us sleep in: You have, Gideon, though not recently, hint hint.

Happy, happy birthday, Gideon, WE LOVE YOU!

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:30 AM | Comments (1)

May 5, 2012


Reminds me how rarely we get a shot with us all in it.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:49 PM | Comments (3)

May 3, 2012

Grandpa's visit

We had a visit from Grandpa. This produced, in addition to the Wild Things reading, a visit to the Autodesk Gallery (if you haven't been let me know and I'll give you a personal tour), pictured here (along with another nice shot or two):

The second shot there is of Grandpa holding Felix up so he could use the 3D photo booth, which contraption produced this:

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:48 PM

March 31, 2012

The Boys and the Girl

Gentlemen, meet your newest niece, Seneca:

Phew, what a lovefest that was! Felix even tried to sing her to sleep.

Seneca, you've got some very sweet cousins there. Lucky girl, lucky boys.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:01 AM

March 15, 2012

Bad idea


Even for you this is a bad idea, Gideon.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:43 AM

February 19, 2012

Family skate

Talia promised Felix skates, inline skates that is, but before buying we thought it wise to do some trying, so the whole family, plus Shanna, went off to our not-so-local rink. Wow, flashback!

I don't understand how this happened, but on Felix's own birthday I failed to get a film of him skating. Sorry Felix, I'll get a good one of you soon, I promise! But I did get one of the Gid skating with our friend Shanna. It hadn't even occurred to me that they'd have skates to fit him, but they did, and once he realized what was going on there was no holding him back:

And once he'd had some practice he started really pulling:

Go Gid!

Posted by atshuldiner at 1:12 PM

January 10, 2012

Movie: Ghost

He begs for it, really he does.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:50 AM | Comments (2)

January 9, 2012

Felix and Gid are...

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:23 PM

January 4, 2012

Movie: Whoa!

No idea where Gid got this new move of his--he's never been on a roller coaster--but it's our current favorite.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:52 AM

December 22, 2011

Movie: Spaghetti

Can't stand it when a waitress asks "Are you still working on that?" but must admit I found myself asking the same thing of Gideon last night at dinner. I suppose it's the overalls.

Bonus: Felix reciting the five forms of concentration.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:14 AM

November 14, 2011


We went gleaning with Marin Organic and the whole family helped out: mama hoed, Felix looked for the biggest, weirdest potatoes, Gideon loaded the bins and did quality control checks, and I took pictures. Fun!

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:47 PM

October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween, Fairfax at its best! We started with drinks in the garage and then, the troops all gathered, proceeded to the contest grounds to view the competition. Gideon walked (actually, rode) away with the "best preschooler costume" award--go Gid and go go mama!--and off we went to tour the haunted houses in "The Neighborhood" and, of course, to score goodies. Another great year!

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:50 PM

October 15, 2011

Movie: Should I laugh or should I cry, part 4

Augh! It's happening again! Felix (16+ months):

Gideon (17+ months):

Note, though, how much bigger Gideon is.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:59 PM

October 6, 2011

A word or two about the boys

A couple of short essays today, one based on a recent observation of Talia's, the other on one of my own.

Felix, as we have mentioned elsewhere, has a best friend, Dumb Dumble by name. Dumb Dumble comes up a lot in conversation, I mean really a lot, so much so that one is apt to get a little annoyed at times, or at least this one, the Dada, is. But the Mama has pointed out that Dumb Dumble serves a very important purpose for Felix: he knows everything Felix doesn't. Every gap in Felix's understanding--and precocious as he may be, there are gaps aplenty--is bridged by Dumb Dumble's knowledge, experience, and opinion, and this Felix finds very comforting. Having had this pointed out to me I am now not only a much more enthusiastic fan of Dumb Dumble (not to mention even more tickled by his name) but am even searching for such a friend myself. Helpful to have around in these uncertain times.

And then there's Gideon. After driving us to distraction getting into things he recently switched tactics, focusing instead on closing things, doors and cabinets mainly. I was grateful for the change, it being on the whole less annoying to have someone close a door too soon than to find open one that should be shut. However, most recently he has combined these tropes with a third, namely the moving of things from one place to another. It is as if we now live with a very active and totally indiscriminate squirrel: stuffies in my closet, Thomas shows up in the rice cooker, all of the lids to our storage tins are who knows where. Who knows? The Gid knows.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:16 PM | Comments (2)

September 27, 2011

Movie: Intro to Glubbuh

Time to bond, little boy. Felix, as you no doubt know, bonded many a year ago to his "lubbah" (which is what you get when you try to say "lovey" with a palate only partially formed) and we quickly noted how useful it was, if one naps sitting up as children so often do, to carry around a neck pillow. So now we've chosen a similar product and introduced it to Gideon. Will he bond? Looks like a good start....

NOTE: The word "Glubbuh" has not been agreed upon by anyone, much less Gideon, so don't get used to it.

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:07 PM

September 14, 2011

Movie: Chicken

And this one illustrates why you don't want to eat dinner at or house, either.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:20 PM | Comments (1)

September 4, 2011

Movie: Boys at play

This movie is interesting for a few reasons. Most important, it shows the boys playing together, which is, as every parent knows, about the nicest thing your children can do for you. Secondarily, note the large scrape on Gideon's forehead: he came home from his first day of preschool with that beauty. Finally, this movie shows the Gid not only walking but even doing a little bit of running. Go boys, go!

Posted by atshuldiner at 4:41 AM

September 1, 2011

The Eagle and the Buffalo

The first day of a new (pre)school year! Felix is now officially an Eagle, and Gideon is starting as a Buffalo, apt appellations both.

Felix, as shown, was quite sweet about leading Gideon into his new habitat (wrong door, but we worked that out later), and Gideon, as expected, dove right in: he's been begging to be left at daycare for months now, had to call after him to get even a wave bye bye.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:30 PM

August 31, 2011

Movie: Bananas

Another in our series of "aren't you glad you don't eat breakfast at our house" videos.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:24 PM

August 24, 2011

Movie: Kung fu fighting

That was round 2. In round one we fought with swords.

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:43 PM | Comments (2)

August 22, 2011

Summertime in Tahoe

Ah Tahoe, there and back again already. The top highlight of a happy trip: Felix, upon being served Jello for the first time, asks how it is made. We give him the details: mix, set, serve. Nom nom nom, pause. "Does Jello also set in the West?" Evidently so, child, evidently so.

Posted by atshuldiner at 12:36 AM

July 17, 2011

Movie: Like mother like son

Boogie is inherited.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:46 AM

July 14, 2011

Movie: Attack of the giant bubbles

On the way to school yesterday:

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:16 PM | Comments (1)

July 11, 2011

Movie: Sharing ice cream

Learning to share...the hard way. Do you see any progress? I don't.

Last week:

This week:

Posted by atshuldiner at 11:11 PM | Comments (1)

July 7, 2011

Movie: Good times in the tub

Another in our "Felix spitting on Gideon, Gideon laughing like a fool" series.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:15 PM

July 4, 2011

Movie: Take a bow

From our recent camping trip with the talented Hastings-McMillansesses. Encore!

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:10 PM

June 1, 2011

Movie: The tragedy that is breakfast

Every damn morning....

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:41 PM

April 8, 2011

Movie: There's always one movie like this

And back you go:

Same thing happened to Felix around this age--it is the fate of near walkers it seems.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:43 PM | Comments (1)

Movie: Splashtime

You know your children are the right age apart when one enjoys spitting water in the face of the other, and the other enjoys it even more.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:41 PM

March 27, 2011

Tahoe snow

Went to Tahoma for a snow vacation, and boy did we find what we were looking for! We dug a snow cave for shelter:

We went skiing (backwards, for some reason):

And, of course, we went sledding!

This movie, previously posted, generated some concern: our more tender-hearted viewers thought the ride might have been too much for Felix. In fact, as this next movie (taken on the run previous to that shown above) shows, his real complaint was simply that he hadn't had a chance to barrel into me a second time.

Even Gideon got some time in the snow, though truth be told he didn't much care for it.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:19 PM | Comments (2)

March 1, 2011

Movie: This is how we roll along

Fairfax is a big, big town for bikers, so no surprise we keep finding new wheeled devices to try out. Here's our latest:

Not really designed for three, but it made it to pizza and back!

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:04 PM

January 10, 2011

Back from Hawaii!

Back from Hawaii! What'd we do there? Oh, the usual: swung in the trees...

...ate pineapple...

...and learned to dance like the natives!

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:17 AM | Comments (1)

December 19, 2010


You may enjoy indulging in some comparative viewing:

We do.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:53 AM

November 20, 2010

Movie: Gideon sees his shadow

Gideon sees his shadow. Cute. As is always the case, however, if Felix is around he immediately becomes the most fascinating object in the room as far as Gideon's concerned. I wouldn't necessarily call it brotherly love, but it is sure brotherly something.

Posted by atshuldiner at 10:17 PM

October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

What a great Halloween!

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:39 PM | Comments (3)

October 22, 2010

Movie: Gideon laughs!

Previous to this we haven't been able to get much more from Gideon than a sort of dry chuckle. Today, however, he really started to get it, and nothing tickles him so much as Felix acting funny. (Interestingly, he will laugh at other kids trying to startle him, but will not laugh (nor be much startled) when adults try it.)

Sense of humor is genetic, I'm convinced. Specifically, I believe an appreciation of slapstick is fully determined by chromosomal inheritance. Felix has clearly inherited this and now, it seems, Gideon has, too. They both get it from their father.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:47 PM

Movie: Gideon laughs!

Previous to this we haven't been able to get much more from Gideon than a sort of dry chuckle. Today, however, he really started to get it, and nothing tickles him so much as Felix acting funny. (Interestingly, he will laugh at other kids trying to startle him, but will not laugh (nor be much startled) when adults try it.)

Sense of humor is genetic, I'm convinced. Specifically, I believe an appreciation of slapstick is fully determined by chromosomal inheritance. Felix has clearly inherited this and now, it seems, Gideon has, too. They both get it from their father.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:47 PM

October 7, 2010

Movie: Felix feeds Gideon

Wonderful. Felix doing the feeding is even better than Gideon learning to hold his own bottle (which he has done!). But most remarkable of all is that Gideon is really eating the stuff, remarkable, that is, in comparison with Felix himself, who cheerfully endured our early feeding attempts at six months (Gideon is not yet five) but probably didn't swallow a thing for several weeks after we first introduced solids. Go Gid!

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:57 PM

October 4, 2010

Movie: Wagons

Wagons are the way to go, whether it's mama pulling...

Or Felix!

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:13 PM

Movie: Felix fears

Felix is not, by any means, a fearful child, but there's something out there for us all, something scary. By way of run up to the movie, below, let me mention that Felix had asked to go see the big blue puppet, that I had walked over to the puppet with him, that he had expressed nothing but frank curiosity while we did so, and that he totally freaked out and ran away screaming after I surreptitiously reached around behind the puppet and made its arm move, seemingly on its own. Charmingly, as he ran, he screamed for me to get away from the suddenly dangerous puppet, too. This displayed presence of mind and love in equal measures. As the movie shows, he was still pretty leery of the puppet even some time later. Gideon, of course, remained stolid throughout, as is his wont.

I love how Felix handles what few fears he has. First comes the realization that he is afraid--that the puppet is unexpectedly alive, that the big boulder in his Thomas episode has a spooky hidden face--then comes the story telling, sometimes lasting for days, wherein he relates how scared he was by the experience. This is followed, or has been in past episodes, by a request to be exposed again to the terror, preferably while holding a parental hand. With familiarity the fear ebbs, until he is able to enjoy the experience, and with it a certain pride at having outgrown his childish fright. Then comes more story telling, sometimes lasting for weeks and weeks and weeks.

In this video I attempt to accelerate the process by detoxifying the puppet:

Not sure how successful it was: on the one hand, he still refused to come near it, but on the other he seems pretty amused by it all some days later. The real test is to return to the scene of the scare and see how he handles that.

Posted by atshuldiner at 7:45 PM

September 18, 2010

Movie: What Felix does with Gideon when he thinks they're not being observed

Look, he's even letting him use Lubbuh!

Posted by atshuldiner at 8:51 PM

September 5, 2010

Movie: Brothers

Not staged, the big one really is that sweet most nights before bed. Well, that sweet to the little one, he can still be pretty tough for the parents to deal with....

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:37 AM | Comments (1)

August 31, 2010

Arlo's visit

Yes, Rachel came, too, but although Felix has asked where Dr. Hastings lives, he has repeatedly asked when Arlo will visit again. So, uh, when will Arlo visit again? Having two three-year-old boys in the house was surprisingly pleasant.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:39 AM

Family times

Just a few photos we took while WAITING FOR THE BIRTH OF OUR NIECE AND COUSIN....

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:37 AM

August 9, 2010

Lassen Trip

Family vacation time! Now what, exactly, does that mean? Family is what we do, so going somewhere together does not mean a break for any of us nor, in practice, does it feel much like a "vacation." Still, we had some pretty good times. Most of the trip was spent with our friends, Shanna and Shaun, in Lassen National Park. Friends and park alike are highly recommended. Thereafter a detour to the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, mostly by way of justifying a visit to our favorite steakhouse (Jack's in Redding), before running down Route 5 to Calistoga. We recovered some in the thermal baths of a hotel there before moving on to Bullfrog Pond in Guerneville for a couple of nights.

Posted by atshuldiner at 5:08 AM | Comments (1)

July 5, 2010

The Marin County Fair

We went to the Marin County Fair and had a blast! They don't have them quite like this in Europe, so it was new for the boys and as good as new for us.

Posted by atshuldiner at 6:13 PM | Comments (1)