Category Archives: star wars

Defending the homestead

We took a fair number of photos of the kids tonight doing the normal trick-or-treating thing.  But, in the end, there is only one photo you need to see.

The kids had a wonderful time.  This was the first year they really got it and it was a HUGE succes.  So much so that within seconds of their heads hitting the pillows they were blissfully slumbering away.  Walking around town with friends in the cool fall air will wear you out any day.  Running, yelling, jumping all over town REALLY does it.  They were great, did a pretty fantastic job of remembering to say Trick-Or-Treat and Thank You.  I promised them each a few pieces of candy when we got home and after two pieces they had each had enough.

In addition to getting candy, they were excited to GIVE it out to other kids so when we got home we sat on the front steps to greet the trick-or-treaters.  We were minding our own business when along came DARTH VADER.  Otto not skipping a beat, ran in to get his light sabor and protect us.

We had seen this family (the daughter and mother were Princess Leia and the baby was Yoda.  They had an uncle as Obi-Wan as well) around town while out earlier and Otto was a bit scared of them.  Not surprising.  The costume was AMAZING!  It looked real.  But when on his own turf he was very brave. They had a duel and swapped rebel stories.  To say it made his year may be an understatement.

I am calling this a success.  Big time.


1 Comment

Filed under halloween, star wars

Jedi Training

I just got out of the shower. The entire time I was washing my hair I couldn’t figure out why my arms and upper back hurt so much. We have been walking a lot more the past few days, but that wouldn’t effect my arms.

Then I figured it out. For the past few mornings Otto and I have been doing Jedi Training on the Dagobah (aka the third floor). I am usually Luke (it is the only time he relinquishes control of the Luke character) and he is Yoda. As Luke I do a lot of push-ups and plank position with Yoda (otto or, if I am lucky, mette) on my back.
I see a work out video in the works.

Leave a comment

Filed under star wars


Today we took a giant leap forward in this house. As every post for the past many months now have had some reference to STAR WARS you know how important a topic it is in our house. Otto lives and breathes it. He spends all day playing Lego STAR WARS, reading STAR WARS books or acting out scenes he makes up with his action figures. Up until now he has not actually seen any of the movies. He knows every character and plot twist, but only from books and what we have told him.

That all changed today. Well it started yesterday afternoon. Otto has been on a streak of being so nice and kind it makes you wonder who the other child we had here last year was. Yesterday afternoon we were both a little bored from being stuck in the house so much with yucky weather I asked him if he would be interested in finding some Ewok speeder bike clips on YouTube. He has seen the Ewok song and thought it was very cute so I thought this would be a good transition. From there we slowly felt our way around more clips. A few seemed a bit scary to him so I would turn off the sound. A trick I learned from Papou and Uncle Matt. That eased his fears. 30 minutes after we sat down he was watching the battle scene over Endor followed by the Hoth battle scene. When eric got home he watched the light saber duel between Darth Vador and Obi Wan where Obi Wan dies. Because he knows the stories so well he can ask to see scenes he knows about.

Today eric brought home the first three movies. Once you are on a roll you might as well go for it. Plus, today is one of the first nice days we have had in a while (by nice I mean in the 40’s cloudy and windy, it’s all relative) and poor Otto has almost lost his voice and has a fever of 101.6. He needed to lay low and movies seemed like the perfect way to do it. He watched half of the first movie before wanting to go and play and a lot of Return of the Jedi. I am sure there will be more. The best part, he isn’t scared at all, in fact he loves them! He gets so excited to see all the characters he has read about. He points out all the obscure droids in the background and knows all of their names.
This is a huge breakthrough for Otto. Not just because he loves STAR WARS and now he can say he has seen the movies, but because he can be very fearful of things and the movies were something he was really scared of. Even though he plays with Legos all day long and dreams of going to the Lego store, the first time we took him he went screaming out of the store and refused to go back in, not even to pick out a toy, because they have small tv’s playing bits of Lego STAR WARS movies. He was TERRIFIED. This past time when we went to the store he talked a lot about the tv’s before we got there, but was fine with them once we were there.
I can’t begin to explain how much he has been changing over the past few months, but something is happening. Eric and I were saying that just in the past two weeks he has grown by leaps and bounds. I am sure there will be many more difficult hurdles to leap over further down the road, but right now we are in such an amazing place. For so long everything seemed like a battle with him. He was struggling to go against the grain with everything that everyday felt like a battle. The frustration was mounting between the two of us where I know I felt like I needed a break and I am sure he did to. Right now he is an absolute joy to be around. We are all having so much fun together.
I can see a real sense of pride in himself for finally conquering something he was really scared of. He did it all on his own. We weren’t pushing him to watch the movies, he is the one who asked to see everything he watched. It has been pretty amazing to watch the transformation in him. Almost makes you feel like your hard work is paying off in some small way.


Filed under otto, otto milestones, phoebe rant, star wars

Questions for cousin John

Just before eric and I headed down south for our little get away a special package came in the mail for the kids. As you know, STAR WARS rules the waves here these days. Mette has taken to calling herself Luke at all times. When the cashier at the grocery store who thinks she is cute asks her what her name is, the reply is “my name is Luke”. It gets some strange looks but I don’t bother explaining. She is often dressed head to toe in pink by her own choosing, so either they think she is a cross dresser, or they think she is coming up with strange names for herself. Either way, they can work on that. I have other things to do.
They still have not seen any of the movies. They get all of their knowledge, and let me tell you, it is a LOT, from books and asking eric and I a million plot questions daily. Otto knows every character, what they do etc… it is amazing. What I most like though is the way even though he is so interested in the plot, how his role playing of the stories follows his own narrative paths. Luke and Darth Maul have lunch together etc… He knows they can’t exist at the same time, he will even tell you who is from the prequels, but that doesn’t stop his imagination.
This past weekend we did have a bit of a break through. Eric cut a scene together where you see Anakin in the pod race. Otto and Mette have both watched it and LOVE it!! I keep telling Otto we should get daddy to make a scene with the Ewoks since I think he would really like that too. Despite the fact that he is all boy in the sense the every stick, lego, spoon etc.. is a “blaster” aka gun, he doesn’t actually want to see any fighting. Something I am very thankful for.
So back to the package. My cousin John recently moved to a new house and in getting ready for the move found a bunch of his old STAR WARS toys. Like Uncle Racer, he thought they might be well loved in the hands of Otto and Mette and kindly send them our way. My Aunt MaryAnn said we could give them all at once, or in pieces. I thought about spreading out the joy, but then the big box arrived and it looked like too much fun to pass up.
So, I let them open it themselves.

It was so much fun to watch then unwrap each well cared for and loved toy.

John, here is where I have a few questions for you. There is no doubt in my mind that you loved these toys very much. So much you may have even jumped for joy when you saw them the first time.
Perhaps you even hugged the battle droid and told it how much you loved it. Which by the way is what Otto did when he saw it.
But did you immediately feel that the light sabers were the right size to battle with Jenny (John’s younger sister) with? Otto did. He was kind enough to arm her first.
They also make great drumsticks, fyi.
But I am really wondering, did it ever cross your mind to ride the Tauntaun? Because Otto saddled that bad boy up immediately upon seeing it.
Then, of course, Mette had to have a turn.
So, needless to day, the gift has been a huge hit. A welcome addition to our already full family. It seems the Tauntaun in partial to jelly toast with his tea, in case you were wondering.

1 Comment

Filed under otto and mette, otto and mette playing, star wars


Otto is four. And is he ever. If he does something tricky or cool and you tell him, he says, “yeah, that’s ’cause I am bigger now, I am four”. It seems totally corny, but I swear on his birthday last Monday he woke up bigger. I keep looking at him trying to figure out just how to put into words what makes him look and seem older and I can’t figure it out. He is growing out of clothes at a lightning fast rate, but he often does that. I just bought him some new pants and shorts and I ordered size 5/6. The kids legs go on forever! His ability to sit quietly and play with Legos gets longer everyday. We now spend most of our time at home building with Legos, reading about Star Wars or dressing up and acting out scenes of fantasy having to do with Star Wars.
Otto still continues to be a wonderful big brother to Mette. He really cares about her. He is often sad when she has to take a nap and is so excited when she wakes up. Having her around to play with really is an important part of his day. They are still playing really well together. He is getting better at explaining with whole sentences how he wants Mette or I to play with him. Instead of just “Mette, follow me!” I am trying to help him tell her why he wants her to follow him. And where they are going. If she catches wind that he is too eager to play with her she shuts down and won’t play anymore. Just to piss him off. She is a little stinker this one. But, if he can sell and exciting adventure she still idolizes him enough to want to follow along. With Otto I feel like I am giving him good life skills for dealing with women and people in general. With Mette I am not at all worried that I am setting her up to follow along with the program. Mette is never going to be a person who just goes with the flow. Of that we can be very certain.
We are establishing quite a lovely tradition of quietly celebrating birthdays at home with just family. Eric, the kids and myself and grandparents who can make it. I am really hoping we can keep this up for many years to come. It is so relaxing and much more fun than a big party. Next year we will be in London for the kids birthdays so it will be easy to do there!
We celebrated Otto’s birthday last Saturday with presents and cake with Grandmom and Grandpa. Otto was just a LITTLE excited!!

You may notice there was a bit of a STAR WARS theme. Legos, dishes, sheets, books. He got it all.

Just talking about cake and ice cream got this:

Actually seeing it come through the door:

Getting closer….

Here it is. The Hoth cake. A buttercream winter wonderland.

Making sure those are real Lego guys.

Tasting a bit of the icing.

I love this shot.

Complete with a Wampa in the background.

Happy Birthday Otto. Four years, they are flying by. I am looking forward to this next year coming up. We have a lot of adventures in store for us. You really are turning into a wonderful little boy.

Much love,


Filed under legos, otto birthday, otto four, star wars


We celebrated Otto’s birthday this weekend because the actual day is tomorrow and eric will be at work all day. This way we could do family stuff all day. Plus, he has no idea what day his birthday is, so what difference does it make?? There are many more great photos and stories to share but I will leave you with this…
There was a LOT of this:

Then this:

Followed by this:

How many four year olds get a Hoth cake?

Leave a comment

Filed under otto birthday, otto four, star wars


Lately you may be noticing a trend with us. There is a lot of talk of STAR WARS. Let me tell you, it is NON STOP. All day long I am fielding questions about plots and dialogue. Grandmom and Grandpa, if you want to know what to do to get ready for your big weekend with the kids in a few weeks, brush up on your STAR WARS :). Otto has never seen the movies as he insists they are too scary. He is super sensitive to movies and songs so I am sure he right. Eric cut together (because he is cool like that) a short series of clips of just droids and Luke talking but he won’t even watch that. He has however seen this commercial and we all think it is roll on the floor funny.
All of his STAR WARS knowledge comes from asking us a million questions about the movies, reading his LEGO STAR WARS dictionary and looking at eric’s old STAR WARS cards. Aside from some crazy Lucas freaks out there, he has a better understanding of the movies than most people I know. Along with the total love of STAR WARS is a love of LEGOS. He plays with LEGOS all day long. I am not kidding. We have moved furniture around in the living room to give him a large dedicated space for building. The stuff he makes is really cool.
Otto is defiantly a kid who finds something that interests him, tries to learn everything he can about it until, maybe years later, he has satisfied his curiosity on the subject and moves on the to next thing. It is actually a very good way of learning. Complete immersion. Eric says he remembers entire phases of his childhood devoted to space, snakes, sharks, cars, STAR WARS and girls. In that order pretty much. He claims to still be interested in the cars, STAR WARS girls, snakes and sharks, not so much. You can see why him being an academic is really a good job for him. The only toy he really remembers as holding his attention for long periods of time were LEGOS. He is, I would say, equally as excited about the LEGOS and STAR WARS as Otto is. They sit together for hours and build, build, build. We need more LEGOS just to keep up with what they are making.
Eric has been a bit crushed that I have not shared with you some of his better creations over the past few days. Luckily I can since he took pictures of them before Otto started playing with them.
Exhibit A: Tie-Fighter Notice the corner turning and dots on both sides. “that’s a big deal” to quote eric.

Exhibit B: Slave 1 (is now the time where I can mention the fact that this represents the only time I ever knew a STAR WARS trivia question that eric didn’t. What is the name of Boba Fett’s ship? Slave 1. I mean, COME ON, who doesn’t know that? 🙂
I also thought I would throw in some cool pictures that Otto and Eric set up with the toys. Here they are doing crazy flash blocking, red eye using “mood lighting”
And this is just too cute.
So there you go. A glimpse into the world of life with STAR WARS obsessed boys. Mette is fast on their heels though. Today she came running looking for me calling “where is my Padawan Ashoko”. You would know from her calling me her Padawan that this makes her Anakin, of course. And you sure as Hell better call her the right name, or it gets messy.

Leave a comment

Filed under legos, star wars