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Happy Seventh Birthday, Sophie

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Sophie,

Yesterday you turned seven, and each year you are sweeter and more caring. You’ve blossomed in first grade. I have to confess, I was a bit worried about your reading. Unlike your brother, you didn’t seem as interested in learning how to read on your own. I think you enjoyed having me or Sammy read to you a bit too much to drum up the enthusiasm to learn the rules on your own. Until first grade, that is. Thanks in part to your teacher, Mrs. Payne, and to your friends, you found the enthusiasm and focus to really learn. Now in second grade, reading is easy to you. Instead, I see you applying that same energy to learning math. I have no doubt that in a few months’ time, what seems hard to you now will be quite simple. It’s been the same way for swimming these last few months.

You have always been advanced for your age in the social arena. You are warm, friendly, loving, caring. You feel everything so strongly — whether it’s fear or joy. And such an easy-going girl; it’s no wonder you make friends so easily.

I also love how much you love music. Dancing with you is one of my favorite things in life. My love for you grows endlessly each year. I am overjoyed to watch you bloom in front of me. I can’t wait to see how your world grows next.

Much love,
Daddy

Sophie in 2007, being born

2007

Sophie in 2008, crawling around at her uncle Robert's house

2008

Sophie in 2009, in her old room in Mountain View

2009

Sophie in 2010, at a TiVo summer company party

2010

Sophie in 2011, at her pre-school

2011

Sophie in 2012, at the Mountain View Farmer's Market

2012

Sophie in 2013, holding a bead Shannon made

2013

Sophie in 2014, at the Mountain View Farmer's Market again

2014

Happy Ninth Birthday, Samuel

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Sammy, Samuel, Sam —

I know you now wish to be called “Samuel,” and I’m trying, but it’s hard for me to get used to that particular change. I’m sorry in advance for the fact that I’m likely to call you “Sammy” basically for the rest of my life.

The last of your single-digit birthdays is today. In many ways, you’re already looking far ahead: Your reading level was assessed this week to be at the 10th grade level. The subjects you’re most interested in (biology, paleontology, astronomy, Lego construction) are advanced. But although you went through a phase where you were sure you already knew everything, you also are the same inquisitive four-year-old who asked “why” several hundred times a day. You’re not yet bored of asking your dad questions. That makes me profoundly happy. To be honest, I still catch myself staring at you sometimes when you’re talking, dumbstruck that you’re real.

You’re settling into yourself; you’re less moody and volatile. I’ve noticed this year in particular that you’ve become comfortable with what you WANT to do and what you CAN do — and you work each day to bridge the two.

My love for you grows endlessly each year. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I’m already proud of you.

Much love,
Your papa

Sammy in 2006, catching bubbles

2006

Sammy in 2007, at the Children's Discovery Museum

2007

Sammy in 2008, at a NASA display at the Mountain View Art and Wine Festival

2008

Sammy in 2009, eating a smore at the Seascape beach

2009

Sammy in 2010, at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

2010

Sammy in 2011, at a birthday party in Mountain View

2011

Sammy in 2012, at the Mountain View Farmer's Market

2012

Sammy in 2013, holding a bead Shannon made

2013

Sammy in 2014, at the Santa Clara County Fair with a snake around his neck

2014

Fairy tale

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Father reading to children: ...and then, no one ever heard the words froyo or vuvuzela or jeggings ever again. And they all lived happily ever after

Happy graduation, Sammy!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Sammy’s last real day of school was today. We had a nice ceremony this morning with strawberries and cake, and Teacher Hans presented each student with a lei. I have had some philosophical disagreements with the school, but Sammy has loved it, and there’s no denying it’s a beautiful place with caring staff. We will miss it.

Congratulations, Sammy! Now onto first grade!

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I just might

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

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Sundown over Santa Cruz

Friday, April 20th, 2012

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Beach day #1, 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Last day of Spring Break = first day of Summer, right?

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Welcome to Lego City

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Sammy holding up a Lego creation (Sophie in background); Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Photo of Sammy and Sophie's Lego creations; Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another photo of Sammy with Lego; Sunnyvale, CA, Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Both Sophie and Sammy love building. The fun begins after the sets are broken up and they start getting creative.

I have to give Lego credit: The new “Friends” set aimed at girls has worked well for my daughter. She loves the fiddly pink accessories.

White people can’t eat spicy food?

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

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At a Korean restaurant in Santa Clara with Matt and Marli, Matt pointed this out on the menu. We ordered one normal and two spicy dishes, and they were delicious, but all three were not spicy. Perhaps they didn’t believe us? It reminds me of this SNL skit with Christian Slater.

Blue Moon

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

20120327-151455.jpgLunch boxes for employees at TiVo’s birthday party celebration, and my Blue Moon XIII write-up for the TiVoCommunity forum.

Happy Holidays from Sammy and Sophie and the gingerbread pod people

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

We celebrate the holidays by making people and then eating them. It’s a form of transubstantiation, I suppose. 20111223-101537.jpg

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Four

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

My daughter,

You turn four today. What a wonderful presence you bring to the world! I love your joy, your good nature, your sense of humor, your boundless energy, how uniquely you see the world, and how much you’ve created your own persona. You can be stubborn about the small things (like what to wear in the morning), but you’re so easy-going and resilient about the big things.

As I told your brother, we have rough waters ahead, and I know how deeply you’re already feeling the changes that are happening. But you’ve already proven yourself to be so good at adapting to the complex world around you. Look at how easily you’ve adjusted to your new room at school, and how you jump right in to tell your friends what to do. With your family’s help, you will thrive and grow, endlessly.

I love you, Sophie. I’m proud to be your father.

Sophie demonstrating her unique style
(click to enlarge)

Six

Friday, September 16th, 2011

My son,

You turn six today. How we’ve both grown over that time. I love seeing how fully you experience the world: An ice cream cone on a hot day or a fascinating creature at the aquarium can captivate you and fill you with joy. A 3am itch attack or finding a dead snail can overwhelm you. You are so interested in everything around you, so creative with stories and turns of phrase, and I admire how drawn you are to the sciences — geologist, paleontologist, biologist, and museum owner are all things you’ve said you want to be when you grow up.

We have rough waters ahead, but you say you’re ready to captain them, and I believe you. You make friends easily, you learned to read and write well ahead of your peers, you’re curious and adaptable. You’re well equipped to continue to explore and develop.

I love you, Sammy. I’m proud to be your father.

[Sammy, eating a cupcake, in Mountain View, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bearing light

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The Lamplighters, illuminating the 9 o’clock avenue on Thursday evening before the burn.

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Papillon

Friday, May 13th, 2011

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Chicks

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

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Two Share

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Snow bubble, blueberry. A Mountain View afternoon warm enough to ditch the jackets. I love this.

The Castle in the Forest

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Happy 3, Sophie

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Dear Sophie,
Three today, but in many ways you’ve been a three year old for a while, with your big heart and endless energy and general good nature. You’re a wonderful, beautiful girl, and we love you very much.