Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Weekend Warriors.

Wow, I am not really the best blogger of 2017. We haven't honestly had a ton of stuff going on, but it's nice to be back at school and work. It poured rain most of last week, so not many out door activities, but the grass seed is taking root in the bare patches of our back yard!

Saturday night was a big one around here. The boys went to MONSTER JAM at Angels Stadium, where there were hopes that Adam would go totally bananas nuts with the thrill of watching monster trucks tear around.

As you can see, he was thrilled. Tim and Grizz reported that he was well behaved, but not too jazzed. I guess there's a lot more waiting around than actual monster trucking, but Adam reported that he had a good time, so not a total waste.

Meanwhile, Ellie elected for us to go to Fired Up and do some ceramics painting, which I think was the better choice. The owner, who is a sweet hippie, totally remembered us and Ellie was thrilled to tell Miss Sarah that she's SIX now. We all painted and chatted and made plans to come back with Olivia and Co. for Gigi's birthday.

Then we took our darling girl to a dive bar for a delicious dinner of bar snacks and kiddie cocktails.
I mean, what more could a little lady want? She got to eat chicken fingers and fries and help pick songs on the jukebox. Plus it's nice for Sara and I to take our mom out for an evening on the town. Look at her with two adult daughters!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year!

Only a few days late, here's the NYE recap. We once again went over to our friend Nicole and Mike's house where they had a great playroom set up for the kids and two teenaged babysitters who could keep the kids out of our hair until 9pm (when we celebrated the ball drop on live TV.) Last year, my kids came out every ten minutes to cry about something, but this year, they were able to stay with their friends and act like human beings, allowing Tim and I to actually talk to adults and have a good time. It's a good thing all of the kids are cute.

Yes, Ellie and Lexi ARE wearing matching outfits.


This picture cracks me up because I feel like in fifteen years, they'll still have those solo cups, except it'll be beer instead of sparking cider (friend Olivia on the left)

The moms got hooch in their cups, because we're grown up ladies.

New Years Day we ended up back at Nicole's house, this time with a smaller group, to have the second annual chili cook off. I lost my crown, but hey, lots of good chili and the Packers won!



Then we spent our Monday New Years Day mostly laying around like turds. We had people over to watch the Rose Bowl, where I begrudgingly rooted for USC over Penn State, because their cheating does not involve covering up child abuse, and when we told Adam to get a sweater if he wanted to go ride his bike, he found a 12-18 month sweater at the bottom of a drawer and insisted on wearing it.

That kid is a beefcake.

It's been a good week with everyone back to school. I think they've missed the routine, and I know I certainly have. A quiet house after two weeks of togetherness is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Though I will say, Ellie made good use of her time, writing and illustrating her first novel, The Little Sea.
I find the author photo particularly lovely.

Lastly, last night we went to Tim's office to check out the new cafeteria. Please enjoy how they made a sweater for the Orc.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cultured!

We've been making the most of our lazy vacation days. The kids are sleeping in, and now that they're big enough to go and watch a video on the tablet in the living room, Tim and I are sleeping in even more. Going back to school next week is going to be a rude awakening (and also a welcome respite, because we're all pretty sick of each other round about 11am.)

However, I'm trying to keep things fun, so I bought tickets to the Rain Room exhibit at LACMA. It's a small room with rain coming from the ceiling (hence the title) but it's programmed to recognize people on the floor, so if you walk slowly, you can walk across the whole room and stay dry. Or, if you're Adam, you do a runner and get wet. We had 5pm tickets, and managed to not only make it up there in time, but find a parking meter and so only pay a buck to park. And our tickets got us admission to the entire museum. I wish we'd had more time to explore, but in the hour we were there we went through the Rain Room, we saw a big piece with a bunch of matchbox cars zipping around (very exciting for Adam) and we went outside and played in all of the light poles of Urban Light.




The kids thought the whole experience was really cool, and that's what counts. Next time, we'll plan on making a day of it and take Adam to the Petersen, which I'm sure he would love.

However, our day of fun was not done! Our town puts a bunch of holiday decorations in the Four Corners area - there's lots of decorate trees, a manger scene, and a giant dreidel and menorah. A few weeks ago, Ellie was asking about Hanukkah and started crying when I told her we weren't Jewish and didn't celebrate. Auntie Lauren to the rescue - we were able to go up to her house for dinner and celebrate the seventh night with her. The kids thought it was pretty great (though I could see Adam desperately wanting to blow out the candles in the menorah) and loved playing dreidel.


A delightful day of learning, all around!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ho Ho Holidays.

Uff da, another Christmas behind us. We're officially done, especially after I heard the trash truck this morning and realized we had to undress our desiccated tree and drag it to the curb for pick up.

We had an amazing time, between Poppy's birthday, Christmas Eve at Gigi and Grizz's house, Christmas morning brunch here, and then Christmas Day with the Irish Catholic masses. On the 26th, we all stayed in our pajamas all day (I spent most of the day in bed, reading and only getting up for food.)

Both kids got a whack ton of Legos, which they LOVE. Ellie was especially happy to follow the directions and build each of her little masterpieces. Adam got a firetruck and a rescue helicopter from Santa, so did a ton of rescuing. They are such a fun age, so full of imagination and the magic of the holiday season. Plus their sweetness just kills me. Ellie made little art projects for everyone and wrapped them up with notes (I got a piece of a toilet paper tube turned into a cat puppet) and this is her letter to Santa.

I mean, com'n. Doesn't it make your insides crush up into a ball of mush?

And now, holiday photos.







...and then, the afternoon of the 26th.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve.

What a week we've had! We've had friends over every day this week, except for Thursday when we went to see the movie, and we've gotten to celebrate with all of our besties. We've decorated a ton of cookies, we've eaten a ton of cookies, we've gone to the YMCA to work on said cookies. All in all, a good week, and now we're fat and happy and ready for family celebrations.

Apparently, all of her handicrafts have bonkers eyes this holiday season. Between this and her goat-looking reindeer ornament.

Last night was Poppy's birthday, and the annual Parmordsen party at Don and Eileen's. The poor kids were a little tired and nuts going into it, and so at nap time I told them to both stay in their beds and get some good rest. Ellie doesn't nap 100% of the time, but I try to force her when she really needs the rest, so when she wandered out of her room at 3pm on the dot, I told her to go back to bed and actually get some sleep, saying she couldn't come out until 3:30. Yeah. At 4:30, when I went in to wake her up, I discovered that like me, she takes a better cat nap when she gets an actual cat.


As usual, it was a great night with a fun crowd. Now that all of the kids are getting bigger, the adults can relax and be merry a little bit more. Unfortunately for me, I dropped the bottle of gin I'd brought on the drive way where it smashed. Tried to take a sip off of the pavement, but I ended up heading to Trader Joes because sometimes, mommy just wants to drink a Christmas tree.

The kids loved having Santa come. A funny (but not that funny) story about Adam is that he has no shame about peeing his pants. If you don't make him go potty during the day, he just won't. He's peed on the couch more than once (though thankfully, he poops in the toilet every time.) But last night after Santa arrived, he ran to the bathroom of his own volition and told us "I don't want to have a potty accident on Santa's lap!" The kids are at such a fun age because Santa is so real to them, and there's so much Christmas magic all around.


Last night Ellie asked Santa for a Rapunzel scooter (which I've already told her she might not get, since she already has a perfectly good scooter) but this is the letter she put together for Santa the other day. Her sweetness just crushes my heart up into a ball. She's also made a picture of everyone who is coming to brunch tomorrow, as a gingerbread person.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Vacation.

The kids have had this week off, which has been a nice slide into the holidays. We've gone to the YMCA every day, as we do. Adam is always enthused, Ellie always whines, but they have a good time once they arrive, since they get to see friends and hang out with a bunch of nice folks (Adam calls them the "teachers.") He always goes straight for a book about garbage trucks, and Ellie immediately sits down to work on a coloring sheet. She made my heart crush up into a little ball this week when she took the "letter to Santa" holiday coloring sheet and wrote that for Christmas she just wants all her family together.

Monday evening we had a bunch of neighbor ladies over for a cookie exchange and a decorating party. The kids enjoyed making a bunch of gingerbread shapes with me in the afternoon, which none of them seemed very interested in decorating, save for Ellie. The nice thing is we had leftover frosting and supplies, so we've made cookies with anyone who visits this week, including Ellie's old pal Clare.

THEY GROW UP SO FAST!
2012 versus 2016

Since it's so rainy today, we decided to go and curl up in a movie theater. We picked up Auntie Sara, got ourselves some popcorn and saw Sing this morning. Adam actually sat through the show pretty nicely for a small boy - Ellie insisted that she was tired and had to snuggle with me, but I suspect that she was just cold because she ignored me when I suggested that she might want to wear leggings. The movie was really cute, and all of the music kept the kids engaged until the end.

Such comfortable seating!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Angel.

Today was the Christmas program at Adam's school. The invite for each class actually featured several pictures of the kids dressed up. Adam's class is full of kids in white choir robes with halos... and then a little elfin looking kid wearing his FDNY shirt. His teacher said she even tried to bribe him, but no dice. He dresses to himself! It cracked me up, because it's so very Adam.

I went to the program but hid towards the back because I didn't want him to see me and start sobbing, since he refused to sit on the stage during his Thanksgiving pageant. He came in ringing some jingle bells, and when he spotted me he yelled "hi mama!" and then proceeded to have a pretty great morning. He sang along with everyone, but didn't do the hand motions, and had a brief argument with a classmate when she said her brother was a baby (Adam told her "he's not a baby!" with some good foot stomping.) And his screwing around on stage made me laugh like crazy. Please enjoy.




Tim is staying at his mom and dad's tonight, having gotten his eyeballs lasered this afternoon. He has an optometrist appointment in YL in the morning, so best for him to stay with them and save everyone some driving (mostly saving me the driving.) I will say though, ten years ago I would have ORDERED him to stay with his mom because eyeball stuff grosses me out, but after getting poked in the eye by Adam last year and having to be brave at not one but TWO eye doctors, It's going to be weird to see him without glasses! But it'll be great when he can shoot laser beams out of his eyes (that's how it works, right?)

Meanwhile, our neighbor Lisa was also on her own tonight, since her husband had a work dinner. When we were on our way to Vegas this weekend, we stopped at this weird truck stop in Barstow and I bought the kids a bunch of geodes to smash as a souvenir (because smashing geodes is awesome.) I was tempted to buy pieces of amethyst and other crystals on magnets, but then realized, I could glue some rocks to magnets for WAY less than seven bucks. Oh man, did we have a fun time. First, Lisa and I dumped the kids at the Y together to work out, then when we got back, we set up in the garage (with safety glasses!) and hammers. All of the geodes yielded great results, and we made almost two dozen good magnets.

(BTW, Tim and I spent the weekend in that overpriced, smoke filled hellhole known as Las Vegas, because his work took everyone there for a combo holiday party and game shipping party. We had a great time, but because we got to hang out with our friends. I could die without going to Vegas again in my life. But at least four-eyes and I looked good doing it!)