Hot Day

It was hot in SF today. 

We had a friend’s birthday party and generally enjoyed the nice day. Here are some recent photos. 

Julia needed to take a photo of her neighborhood for school.. It could be a favorite park, her sidewalk… Julia chose to take a shot from her bedroom window. 

At dinner tonight we found some photos on Matt’s phone from our weekend getaway. If only this could be every Sunday/Monday. 

What a Night, What a Week

It was our third year co-hosting the most fun preschool party of the year: the 7th Annual SJP Outdoor Movie Night

This year’s was a record breaker at 65 people. Good thing half of them are little people who stayed in the back yard. 

It’s truly the easiest party to host. Pop some popcorn, get some classic movie candy, and embrace the utter chaos. 

This year we showed Rio, it’s such a good movie for the 3-5 year old set. 

Sweet Matt Shaw was in town on Wednesday and we were so happy he could join us for dinner. 

I started working again on Tuesday. I’m M-F but I leave at 4pm every day and I have zero commute. So far so good!!

On Thursdays Julia rock climbs at school, as part of the after school program. The teacher and we agree: Julia is made to climb!! This is one of her most favorite parts of the week. 

She can see Alcatraz from the top of this three-story climbing wall. Gulp. 

It feels like a million years ago but Sunday night Matt and I escaped to Napa (Calistoga) to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. The Seidenstickers took the kids in the morning and then Gabbi babysat overnight and dropped them off at school Monday morning. We rolled into SF just in time for school pick ups, fully rejuvenated after just 30 hours away. 

Take me back!!! What a week full of happy moments and exciting things to come. 

Carpet on the Stairs, Big Kid Desk, Week at Preschool, and More

This week Julia started taking the bus on Wednesdays! A few of the local schools run a school bus in our neighborhood. On “walk to school Wednesdays” Julia has decided she’d like to take the bus so she can “save a car on the road and get to wear crazy socks.” That’s a fun privilege for a girl in uniforms. Despite the extra early time at 7:15 am, it’s great (and actually Julia doesn’t seem to mind at all that it’s early).

We have more and more hummingbirds coming. In the morning and evening we get several visitors consistently, each announcing their arrival with a distinctive chirp, so we continue to provide the long-throated flowers they love. 

One of the coolest parts is that they come even when we’re standing right next to them. We’ve had these fascinating birds less than two feet from us on a regular basis. 

No more slippery steps! The hard-working installer was at our house until 8pm on a Friday night. It’s feeling cozy, there’s less echo, and if someone falls, at least they’ll have a softer landing. 

Julia’s soccer schedule is in full swing. Meanwhile, Nicholas is trying Soccer Kids with Anna! Cathie will take the kids while I’m at work and I’ll finish my day and meet them at the park. It sounds like a perfect plan, fingers crossed that it all works out. 

This week I got to take Nicholas to his first practice. He jumped right in mostly because the coach was sooooo hilarious. Nicholas was in stitches within ten minutes. 

This is what he looks like on Fridays when he brings his nap bag with his blanket home to be washed. The school provides lightweight cots that are made of strong mesh and they sit just a few inches off the ground. We provide a fitted sheet, cozy blanket and, in Nicholas’ case, a puppy dog. 

I got in touch with our old dog walkers and Simba magically moved to the top of their wait list. I walked with Angela to give her the house key and get Simba bonded to her. He responds to come like a rockstar. 

That’s Fletcher’s old best buddy on the far right, Roscoe. I recognized him right away and it definitely made my heart skip a beat. Maybe Simba can be his new buddy. 

Every week, for both Julia and Nicholas, we get photos and write-ups of what they’ve been up to at school. Here is a tast of what Nicholas’ week looked like. 


Camping, Ballet, Fun Weekend

Our annual urban camping trip happened Saturday night in the Presidio, less than 5 minutes from our house. The beauty of urban camping is that you can still make your ballet class the next morning at 10:30am.

These are our dear cooking co-op friends. It’s similar group to last year but without the extra families this time.

There are five large campsites that hold 20+ people each, there is running water with sinks and toilets, there are owls hooting at night and there is plenty of chilly wind since you’re on a hilltop near the beach.

Just as they’ve done every year, the kids hopped into the wheelbarrows meant to haul gear from cars to the campsite, commandeered a dad, and shouted, “Kids for sale!”

Matt, the fire whisperer.


After an early but enjoyable morning together, we hit the showers at home and made it to Julia’s first ballet class at the SF Ballet.

This is an example of a “don’t mess up the hair” hug.

Also from the weekend…



Some bonus photos from Colorado. SO CUTE.


Catching Up: First Day of Preschool, Boys Weekend and Girls Weekend

Nicholas had his first day of his second year of preschool on Wednesday. The guy is an old pro. In fact, he was helping me install soap dispensers and more the day before (in the newly constructed areas). 

On his first day, Matt and I both took him to school but he was in NO mood for a cute photo. 

Last weekend, well for five nights actually, Matt and Nicholas had a great boys weekend in Boulder. I haven’t seen any group photos so if some exist, we’d love to see them! 

Here’s one from the Buff rally on Pearl Street before the big game. 

They has a super duper early morning flight on Tuesday. Matt rolled into the office and I rolled Nicholas straight into a day of fun with Anna. I didn’t want him sleeping the morning away since his first day of school was the next morning. 

Meanwhile, while the boys had been away, Julia and I had a GREAT girls weekend. Maybe too great. No pesky little brothers, no laundry, just us girls. 

Julia is starting a new ballet class with friends at the SF Ballet. It runs the entire school year. She has a uniform and must wear her hair in a bun with no stray whisps. Ha, we had to practice that one!

Soccer started up again. Practice is Friday afternoons with games on Saturdays. The exciting news is that I’m going back to work! I found a great job that fits my needs for some flexibility and, best of all, it’s in the Presidio so I have almost no commute. I’m located exactly between the two kids’ schools. And I’m leaving every day at 4:00 pm.🙂

We have an exciting weekend ahead. I promise to be better about keeping up with photos this week.


First Day of First Grade! Plus, More 

Julia jumped out of bed, got herself dressed in the clothes she laid out the night before, had a great breakfast, brushed her teeth and we were out the door with plenty of time to spare. 

Is this child a unicorn? Nope, she’s the real deal and we are lucky enough to be her parents. 

There’s a tailor in town who buys the Hamlon plaid fabric by the yard and makes custom jackets for Hamlin dads. Matt got fitted earlier this summer. 

Julia could NOT believe her eyes this morning when Matt put on his new jacket, what a fun surprise. She already adores him, but I think she might love her daddy just a smidge more after today. 

So. Many. Girls. 

Julia’s cubby is in her classroom, just like last year, but now she’s up on the second floor. 

Her lead teacher is Mrs. Kutnick (white sweater below) and her associate teacher is Ms. Scott-Kay (navy striped dress below). There are 22 girls in her class, 44 total in the first grade. 

Above is the mini library in her classroom with baskets and shelves of books for all the 1st grade reading levels. They’ll use them to read in class but also to “shop” each week to bring home. (Plus, she has library once a week. So many books.)

Meanwhile, Matt and Nicholas headed to Boulder today. I always miss Matt but this little nugget and I are going to miss each other exceptionally crazy. But, we’re all excited for them to have some fun boy time and for the girls to have a girls weekend. 

Exactly two seconds after this moment, I switched the radio to my music, pointed all the air conditioning vents on myself, and wondered what on earth I was supposed to be doing. 

Luckily, I have a list in my phone for those rare moments. 

There’s a great garden store called Flora Grubb near the airport that I have always wanted to visit but never have the alone time for. It was on my wish list, so Flora Grubb it was!

They have this great potting bench where you can take the things you’re buying, use their supplies and inspiration and keep the mess at their store. 

I was inspired by these beauties, but not inspired by their $75-$150 price tags. 

So, I collected a few $3 succulents, a $9 pot, went to the potting bench and now have this for our bistro table in the back yard. It was relaxing to garden and sip on a coffee. With no kids. 
Now, I’m back in the pickup line at school, excited to hear about Julia’s day. Tomorrow we’re finishing up construction details at the school, painting, and I have too many plans, but it was nice to steal one moment for myself today in the garden. 

Ideas for Nicholas’ Birthday

Since curious minds would like to know for his birthday coming up October 2…

In a nutshell, any rescue vehicle, anything lego, anything dinosaur or dog, cars and trucks and things that go. Playdoh, Thomas the Train, construction. The kid is easy to please.

Of course, the usual big list always holds true every year and is greatly appreciated by all of us: College 529 Plan donations, renewing our SF Zoo membership (just call and give our name), family game night ideas, Buffs gear (the biggest size we have for either kid is 3T), tickets to kid shows, activities (there’s so much we’ve tried or haven’t tried in this great city, you can’t go wrong).

And now for some visuals, all easily sourced at Target or Toys R Us.