Times and Sorensens

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Field trip to campus

The boys and I decided to meet Jake on campus for lunch. Of course, getting there is half the fun - the campus shuttle is an adventure in and of itself! Here are the boys waiting in eager anticipation.

The boys are enthralled by the huge fishtank behind Jake's head (note large fish on right). Hey guys, could you turn around for a second?


Tossing pennies in the fountain is always a favorite:

This was the highlight of the trip for Joshua; a dumpster on wheels!How cool is that!?

Lastly, we visited the "talking tree" on campus. I guess it's part of an art collection, and this tree philosophizes, sings, sleeps, and plays relaxing music.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Going to church...

... is spiritually energizing for some of us, but for others it seems to be more of a drain:

How cute!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Busy day at Salon Sorensen

Daniel before:

Daniel after:

Joshua before:

Joshua after:

Jake before:

Jake after:

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fall Equinox

Tomorrow is the Fall Equinox and I thought I would share a couple of poems I discovered years ago that, I feel, capture the essense of autumn:

Tears, idle tears, I know not
what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some
divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather
to the eyes,
In looking on the happy
And thinking of the days that
are no more.
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The day becomes more solemn
and serene
When noon is past - there is
a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in
its sky
Which through the summer
is not heard or seen
As if it could not be, as if it
had not been!
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

I learned from WeatherBug that meterologists consider September 1st to be the start of fall, so I guess I'm not so early after all.

And on a somewhat related note (speaking of seasons), I think that I am going to declare our beach season closed. We went yesterday for playgroup and, though sunny, it was a bit too chilly for me. The boys had a great time though, and I think it was a fine day to end our long Summer at the Beach with. I'm leaving open the possibility to go again if we have another warm spell, but I'm not holding my breath -- today is overcast and downright blustery.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In recognition of International Talk Like a Pirate Day...

...the boys enjoyed some Pirate's Booty for a snack.

Try some - it's yummy!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

They're never cuter than when they are asleep...

Since I'm sick of working on my projects at the moment and everyone else is asleep (actually, I should be too), let me tell you why I love this picture I took today:

It's more than just a picture of Joshua asleep, although I have a number of those that I really like (a recent one is included at the end of this post). Joshua is laying on the floor beside a floor lamp and the couch, a position he only takes when he's supposed to be in his room in bed (at night) or in this case for his quiet time in the afternoon since he's given up naps. Usually we catch him opening his bedroom and the hallway door or just after he's laid down in the pictured spot and pack him back off into his room, but this time I didn't. Since the only thing that happens when he does this is that we take him back to his room, my guess is that he didn't know what to do and fell asleep waiting for me to notice he was there. Sweet! I didn't have to send him back to his room, and he actually took a nap (a long one, two hours! He slept through his brother playing around him and me making dinner and we had to wake him up to eat). Score one point for the parents!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Thanks go to Jake's brother Adam and his lovely wife Erin for introducing us to Yo Gabba Gabba! What is Yo Gabba Gabba, you ask? It's a children's television show they picked up the pilot for at the San Diego Comic-Con Convention along with lots of cool paraphernalia, like these shirts the boys are modeling.

Jake and I can't stop laughing when we watch this show and the boys are highly entertained. They also learn lots along the way, like what happens to their food once they've eaten it (it has a party in their tummies, of course!) And the dancing is awesome - our kids will be so hip in no time! Anyway, we love this show and hope that it takes off because we want more! Thanks again guys!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

First day of "Preschool"

Here he is, heading off! "Preschool" is in quotes because it's nothing formal, just a little preschool 4 friends and I are doing together. Coincidentally enough, we all have boys! All reports were good - Joshua learned about nature today and did leaf and bark rubbings that he was super excited to show us. Actually, he was more interested in showing us the procedure ("You turn the crayon sideways, like this") than the actual rubbings, but I guess that's how it is when one learns a novel, new skill!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Unknown White Male

The documentary "Unknown White Male" finally came out on DVD this week and I rented it Friday night - I had been eagerly awaiting its release after having read Eric Snider's review. It is the true story of a young man, Doug, who went into a fugue state and came to only to realize that he didn't know who he was, didn't know why he was headed to Coney Island on a subway, and in fact, didn't know anything at all up until that moment in time. With his memory comletely erased, he realized that his only option was to turn himself into the police for help. The police in turn sent him to the hospital, where he was sent to the psych unit. They wouldn't release him until someone came to claim him, which was a problem, since he didn't remember who he knew.

Doug is finally released through a series of fortunate coincidences and the story follows him as he rediscovers his old life and emerges as a different person. It is quite interesting to observe Doug's reunions with family and friends to whom he was very close, but has no current emotional ties to. The experience has changed him quite a bit, and he tries rather successfully to rebuild his life. He is able to move on with no memories from his past to inhibit or restrain him. But what will happen when his memory returns (of which experts say there is a 95% chance)? Will all of the returned memories change Doug back into the person that he once was, or will yet a different person re-emerge, an integration of the old and new Doug?

After I finished watching UWM, I found myself wishing that it had been a little more compelling, but then I rememberd that this is a true story about very ordinary people who had a very bizarre experience befall them. The people interviewed are refreshingly ordinary, and seem genuinely concerned about their friend. It has been very interesting to imagine myself in Doug's shoes. Would I be a better person without emotional baggage from my memories? Would I be at a disadvantage without memories of the experiences I have had to draw upon? Certinaly both, but would it be worth the trade off? Lucky me I probably won't have to decide, since Doug's type of amnesia is extremely rare.

The director (who is actually a friend of Doug's) poses the question, "How much of our identity is formed based on our memories, and how much is pure us?" I don't know if this documentary is able to answer this question, but it certainly does provide food for thought and self-introspection. I love thinking about this kind of thing!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Rocketships and Lightsabers

These two pictures cover most of the day for us:

Joshua devised a rocketship from the child-size table and chairs we have plus a few toys, and I was impressed with his ingenuity (and it seems to me that it really does resemble a rocket ship -- this is a shot of the rear of the ship). Maybe you had to be there.

At Target we caved in to letting Joshua get a lightsaber; he seems to enjoy playing with it for longer than many other toys we've gotten him for Christmas or his birthday. He doesn't seem to want to hit things with it, which is a very good sign. Before discovering the lightsaber, he looked at the Star Wars blaster that was on display for a bit and was interested only to the extent that it had buttons that might make fun noises. After pressing a number of likely spots on the blaster with no result, he gave up.

"Maybe you need to pull the trigger," I recommended, whereupon he started to press various spots on the blaster once more. Clearly he had no idea where the trigger was, or how to pull it. I felt a stab of pride that I could raise a kid at least 3 1/2 years without him having any idea what a gun was really like, and then wondered why I would feel good that my son has no idea what a gun is really like. I'm going to go with "because it shows I'm not teaching him to be more aggressive than he should be" as the reason. And for more evidence that we're not overly bound by traditional gender roles, check out this shot of the boys engrossed in their cooking:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Look mommy!

I put the buttons through the slots on my shirt all by myself!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Beach Boys

September is a well-kept secret around here because it is the best time of year to hit the beach. The tourists have gone home, the older kids are in school, and it is typically the warmest month of the year. We took advantage of all this today and had a great morning at the beach!

Of all the beautiful beaches here, my favorite is our own local beach. Lucky us that it's a mere 2 miles from home!

Here are my favorite Beach Boys!

Hard at play

What a cute shadow!

Daniel terrorized this poor bird.

On an unrelated yet important note, Happy Birthday to my brother Ben! We think you're great!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Juice Junkie

My name is Jake, and I am a juice junkie. I might as well admit it, since it's better than admitting that I'm actually hooked on sugar. In an effort to reduce my sugar intake I switched from drinking sodas to juice. Those of you familiar with the nutritional labels on juice will not be surprised to hear that the switch was easy and I experienced no withdrawal. I can maintain my sugar habit just as well, if not better, with juice.

I have some good excuses, I swear. I've heard that the (more natural?) sugar in juice is better for me than the (more processed?) sugar in soda and other things. I only drink 100% juice, so there isn't extra "sugar water" in there. And doesn't a glass of 100% juice count as a fruit/vegetable serving from the food pyramid? This stuff should be downright healthy for me!

Even the 100% juice scene is not as rosy as you might think, though. It turns out that lots of juice has added sugar, so the juice companies are deliberately feeding my habit. I mean, why add sugar to juice? Has my entire life been a lie, and fruit juice actually tastes terrible unless you dump sugar in it? Lemonade works that way, but that's because it uses lemons! Apples taste sweet when you eat them. Or do they have added sugar too?

And if it weren't bad enough that you have to look for 100% juice with the label "no sugar added", there's a game I play semi-regularly when I have a new brand of juice called Guess the Ingredients. This isn't as easy as you would think. That bottle of Cranberry Raspberry 100% juice may actually have cranberry and/or raspberry juice (or it may not), but the bulk of it is commonly some mixture of apple and grape juice with flavoring to achieve the cranberry or raspberry effect. So check the "juice" you're drinking next time, and see if it's actually all 100% juice. And if it is, check to see if it has added sugar (safe to assume if it doesn't say "no sugar added"). And if there's no extra sugar, check to see if the juice is actually the kind the label says, or whether it's some other kind of juice. Is there a reason it's so hard to figure out what I'm actually drinking?

Anyway, when I guess the ingredients, the biggest challenge is usually trying to figure out from the taste whether apple or grape juice is the primary ingredient. This weekend, while drinking some Hansen's Apple Strawberry, I checked the label to see how much grape juice and flavoring was providing the "strawberry" half and was amazed to discover that it actually is strawberry juice! Hooray for Hansen's! Well, hooray for the apple strawberry, anyway. The best that can be said about the Pomegranate Juice is that there's more pomegranate juice than grape juice in it, although there's more high fructose corn syrup than either of them.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Autumn is here

Since autumn is my favorite season, I like to consider it autumn as soon as September begins (a little early, I know). It was a lovely Labor day week-end for us. Jake cleaned the leaves off the balcony while the boys played (thanks Jake!).

Then we headed up to the Carlsbad outlets where Joshua chose these cool new light-up basketball shoes...

...and Daniel got these fun new jammies!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Three Day Weekend!

It's a three day weekend, and I'm taking it! As a graduate student, I generally don't take holidays, but after being gone from my family for weeks I'm going to spend more time with them.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Start spreading the news...

It is with some trepidation (but excitement mostly) that I step into the world of blogging. My main motivation for becoming a blogger is to keep family and friends up-to-date on our family's times and seasons. I know that most of you will want to hear about the boys and see cute pictures of them, but you'll have to put up with musings from Jake and I along the way too :). I look forward to this increased capacity to keep in touch and especially to help the boys grow up with stronger extended family (and friend!) ties because I think you are all great people!