Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Big 0-6

Ellie had a really great sixth birthday. She made sure everyone knew that it was her big day, like a drunk sorority girl out at the bar for her 21st, and celebrated like only she knows how. She started the day by opening presents in our bed, while Tim and I wished for another minute or two of sleep, and then before she ate breakfast, she demanded that we frost her Rapunzel cake. Thankfully, this year I made enough cake to cover the doll up to her waist. Unfortunately, I forgot that it's hard to make purple icing from red and blue food coloring - it just comes out sort of gray.

She got to see Mimi in the morning before Adam left for music class, and she had a great time at school, since it was not only her birthday, but her time as star of the week. Then, even six year olds have to nap before their dance class (more singing of the happy birthday, more time with friends.)

Then for our family party we had breakfast for dinner, which meant just mainlining pancakes for the kids, and then presents, cake and dance party. As you can see, it went well. The hit of the night was Ellie's new ukelele, which Adam steals whenever he gets the chance.

And so, Grandma Rosie gets another six year old the Little House books.

Rapunzel is having a Ricky Bobby moment. "I'm on fire! Help me Tom Cruise! Help me Oprah! Save me Jewish God!"

Ready for Halloween!

Please to enjoy Adam doing some serious rocking out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Last Day of Five

Tomorrow we'll have a six year old, so I should probably catch up on the weekend before the birthday onslaught begins. Ellie keeps reminding me that her birthday is tomorrow, as though I didn't carry her for forty weeks and two days and then have her surgically removed. I'm familiar with you, kid. Her enthusiasm for her birthday did help her out today - we were in line at Starbucks and the woman in front of us struck up a conversation with Ellie, who immediately volunteered that she was going to be six tomorrow, and the lady ended up buying a cake pop for Ellie. It was very sweet - she was in her seventies and there with her daughter, and I told Ellie some day that would be us. Probably will be us before I know it, since it's already hard to believe that she's turning six.

This weekend we went up to LA to visit Auntie Lauren and her new puppy, who was very enthused with all of the attention. Ellie did some of her best dog training. Adam got overwhelmed by playing with the dog and then got scratched. You win some, you lose some.

We also had the preschool class bird, Paco Verde, spending the weekend with us. No, he did not get eaten by the cats, but Lulu was pretty ticked off all weekend. The kids loved him though!

We also had our friend Whitney sleep over on Saturday night, which was fun for all three kids. Mine were already off the rails but managed to be half way decent hosts. We baked cookies, we had mani pedis, and then when I went to check on the kids before going to sleep, all three of them were laying side ways across their beds (or in Adam's case, on the floor.) He was really sad about not being allowed to sleep in Ellie's room, and in fact, woke up at 3am and laid with his fingers under the door to her room. Sorry kid, it's hard enough making two kids quiet down and go to sleep in one room, I'm not going for three!

Though, Adam's had plenty of fun on his own this past week. On Friday he and I went to the pumpkin patch with some of the girls from MOPS, and rode the Spooky Train

And while Ellie was in school yesterday, he took advantage of the rain to have a good back yard party (poor Scrawny the Elf. Those trunks are 12 month size, and still fit him, AND I have to make sure they're tied or they won't stay on.)

Plus he's always got Ellie available to read to him! Here they are, wearing chair arm covers as hats and hanging out with Gigi and her familiar, Rocky. Please note, no knee brace for Gi! And she can walk! Or rap you with her cane - she's flexible.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Party Times.

Hello from the world's worst blogger.

Here's some things that have happened: Tim discovered his old Nintendo DS when we were cleaning out the garage (he found it in a random trash bag, because that's where he keeps things he values) and the kids have been loving playing Mario.

But don't worry, Adam won't abandon his dream of being a professional Big Truck Man.

Ellie's best friend Lexi turned six yesterday, which means Ellie is in the final countdown to her own birthday. Lexi's birthday party was at the trampoline park, and since it was during nap time, I made Tim take Adam for a hair cut, because Adam is not his best self at the tramp park, and I didn't feel like carrying him around while he cried about everything. As it was, I had to leave when Ellie started sobbing about the rock wall and Whitney sitting too close to her at cake time (thankfully, pulled Ellie out before she managed to be weeping in every one of Lexi's birthday cake pictures) but here is a moment between cake crying and rock wall crying

All in all, it was actually one of our better birthday party outings, though Ellie was miffed that I told Lexi she was my favorite six year old.

Thankfully, Ellie has also started celebrating. On Saturday, Mimi and Poppy took her for a very special trip to the American Girl Store in LA. She had SUCH a good time (and not just because soft-hearted Poppy bought she and Bitty Baby new party dresses.)

She is so lucky to have such amazing grandparents. Now that she's getting older, I really hope she takes these great memories and sticks them in her brain to treasure forever.

Lastly, here is a video of her reading a bedtime story to Adam, if you're interested in some tales of Biscuit. You can see that she's memorized parts of it, but she's still actually reading it - when she hits words she doesn't know, she sounds them out. I'm so proud of her.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Reunited and It Feels So Good!

Recall that in January, we had our existing handyman special garage cabinets torn out, in hopes of having a nice, fancy new garage with good storage space. The contractor came, he demoed, they put all of our garage possessions into the newly extended attic space. They dry walled the whole place. We had it textured and painted. And then... we waited. We waited all summer. I would call Glen and harass him, and he'd say it was happening soon. Problem with the cabinet factory, his family got in a car accident, the cabinets are on order, they'll be there any day. Basically, he is totally off the rails and spent the entire summer LYING to me, because he doesn't even own the cabinet factory any more, and my cabinets never even got ordered!

We ended up serving him with a letter from our attorney, and he gave me this big song and dance about how he was so sorry, he wanted to do the job because our friendship is important to him, yadda yadda. He'd be happy to refund my money, understood that I wanted to go with someone else (and then lied to me when he said the check was in the mail, because he said on a Friday that it had been mailed "weeks ago" but then when it showed up on Tuesday, it was dated and postmarked the previous Monday. Hmm... I think he is either having some sort of mental break down, or is on the verge of bankruptcy and robbing Peter to pay Paul, because everyone we know is having major problems, and he wasn't like this with our other renovations!)

ANYWAYS, long story short, it's all done now, with the mostly minor exception of lighting, and I could not be happier. I love the way it looks, I love all of the storage space, I love how clean it is, and I LOVE that all of our worldly possessions are down from the crawl space (had to hire a different handyman to install a ladder pull down, but it's in!) I LOVE ORGANIZING!

The guys finished at about 1:30 today, and I spent the next three and a half hours in the 90 degree heat, in our gross dusty crawl space, pulling down most of the boxes and bags and then putting them in their new homes. Thank goodness we did a huge purge before even embarking on this project, because it was a lot of junk. But now, it all fits really nicely with room to spare (side note, I take a smug pride in being able to park both of my cars in my garage. There are so many people in our neighborhood with two and three car garages just stuffed to the gills with CRAP and their cars parked in the driveway. How many couches do you have in your 2,000 square foot house that you have to store another one in the garage, I wonder.)

So here's the before:
Weird cabinet thingie that meant only the Fit fit on the left side

Very fancy cabinets, work bench mess forever. My favorite is that the original owner cut the middle set of cabinets so that the doors opened fully under the garage door track, but not so the ones on the right - they only opened part way.


All this junk and more, now home where it belongs (the Packer helmet is for chips and dips, obviously.)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Big Truck Man.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I wish I loved anything as much as Adam loves the big truck man. We've been talking about Halloween around here, and he keeps saying he wants to be the big truck, and so today, with the help of a diaper box and a can of spray paint, I made his dreams come true.


I also made this delightful video, hoping to get him to say "dump it!" in his funny little voice. But instead, a different story was told:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Biscuit and the Little Girl Who Could Read.

One of the things that Ellie works on in kindergarten is "sight words." It's small, basic words that they expect her to recognize and not have to sound out. Small stuff like "look," and "we" and "the" and "a." You get the gist. We've been going over her sight word lists (because they get quizzed!) and I realized that if she could get all of those words, she was probably ready to tackle some of the very basic "I Can Read" books that we have - namely, the collection of a dozen or so very short Biscuit books that Gigi bought a million years ago. Sure, Ellie had them read to her a thousand times, but she hasn't look at them in quite awhile (making the possibility of her just reciting them to me very low) so today we gave her a book and asked her if she could read it to us, and she could! She read Biscuit and the Box (needed no help with the word box) and Biscuit and the Cat. I'm so proud of her! Reading is the very, very best - I can't wait to watch her take off.

As a memory, here's when she absolutely HATED Biscuit and the Frog for no particular reason:
(OMG, this is FOUR YEARS AGO.)

I am also amazed at her command of basic math. On Sunday after the Lions scored, I was despairing about the Packer game, and Ellie looked at the 20-34 score and said "mommy, it's okay. We're still winning by 14 points." I mean, I can barely do that math - I was so impressed!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mixed Reviews.

Adam went and saw his first movie tonight in the theater! Our little pal Whitney has been desperate to see the new kids movie Storks, and so Sara Jo and I schemed that the dads could take all of the children, and she and I could then go on a hot date that did not involve telling people to sit down or shut up (except for our verbal abuse banter to one another.) It ended up perfectly - the kids and dads went to the giant movie theater, and we wandered around Pier 1 and TJ McMarshalls, and then got some ice cream and met them afterwards.

Tim reported that the kids were mostly good - did some talking and some wiggling, but no one had to be taken out or melted down. Then he handed me a bag of Starburst and said to hide them from Adam, because he'd already eaten more than his fair share. Tim made a joke about "I worried he was going to get sick."

The good news is he didn't get sick in the car. The bad news is that he was sitting on his bed, told me his tummy hurt, and then launched Starburst and popcorn on me like an absolute fountain. I ended up with my skirt full of puke, like a farmer's wife gathering eggs in her apron. It was vile. Plus then there's Ellie sobbing that she doesn't want to get sick, and Adam taking a pause and then going back for a second round. I managed to get us both in the shower while Tim cleared up the spills on the carpet, and thankfully he went to bed without any further mess.

So now Siskel and Ebert give the movie experience on thumb up, one thumb down.