Sunday, January 21, 2018

Girl of Many Talents.

We've had a relatively quiet weekend (for us.) Yesterday Adam had Daddy and Me day at preschool, and Ellie was dying for us to do something FUN too. I told her look, they're only going to be gone an hour, I don't have a car seat for you, and frankly, I want to lay in bed and drink this coffee, but maybe you can find a craft kit to work on with me?

She dug out the mini loom that Granny Janny gave her for Christmas, and immediately went to town. She said she wanted to make the purse that they showed on the box, and got to weaving away. I was surprised at how quickly she picked it up - I offered quite a bit of help during the first part of the day, but when she picked it up after nap time, she'd gotten the hang of doing the loops and keeping the thread tight. This morning she whipped up a strap for it, and we got it all sewn together!

Beads and fringe and neon yarn, hooray!

Then this morning Adam had a birthday party for a classmate, so Tim took him, and I'd promised Ellie that she could ride her bike down the trail to the park, so we did just that! I was really proud of her - she not only rode the long way to the park and back, but then I had offered we could go to a nearby sandwich shop for lunch, and she rode her bike over there as well, which was a good lesson about safely using cross walks, being careful of other people on the sidewalk, etc. It's so nice to be with my grown up lady-girl, who can order her own sandwich politely, and then when it came time to get her scoop of ice cream, she went into the restaurant (we were sitting outside) read all of the flavors available and made her choice by herself.

Meanwhile, it is funny to think that when she rode on ahead of me (I was jogging) I had a momentary worry about if someone would think she was unaccompanied and stop her. I don't worry about things happening to her, honestly, but I worry about some Nosy Nancy telling me I'm a bad mom because I don't have her in my line of sight at all times. Very different than when I was seven and would get on my bike, scarves and hair a-flying, and ride all over the place for who knows how long. If she wasn't so damn pokey in the mornings, I'd let her walk to school on her own, but I don't because the one time she started off for school on her own last year, a neighbor brought her home for being alone. And because almost every morning I have to tell her to get a move on, at least twice.

Meanwhile, she brought this home from school the other day:
Me too kid, me too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Back to the Grind.

The kids went back to school last week, which everyone enjoyed. It was mostly quiet around here - I spent a day trying to declutter and get rid of all of the broken or useless toys, and then another couple of bags of toys and clothing to donate.

I also took Adam to get a hair cut, which I was dreading, because he hates having the buzzer used on him, and the last time we went, I had to basically hold him down, and we left the barber shop with him red and sweaty and both of us absolutely COVERED in hair. This time, went much better. He still wanted to sit on my lap, but thanks to a king sized bag of M&Ms, we managed to make it though.

There's no crying in hair cuts either, my son.

Here's a before, for reference of how long I let it get before I make myself deal with it.

I let Ellie do her homework at Tim's computer desk last week, which he did not like. He doesn't realize that sharing is caring.

She wasn't thrilled about the return to homework, but was happy to return to music class (especially to show off that she can play Doe, a Deer on the piano) and gymnastics (even if she was pooped afterwards on Friday.)

The big fun around here remains the kittens, though fun depends on the day. They both have some sort of tummy problem, which has result in some incidents of pure grossness. Early in the morning this weekend, I woke up because Taco had farted next to me in bed and the smell was so bad that I was gagging... and yet, I was just happy that he hadn't pooped when he farted. This is the world we live in, if it's not one cat, it's another.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Belated Goodbye.

Not mentioned in my earlier blog post was that Gigi started the year off in one of the worst ways possible, saying goodbye to her cat soulmate Petunia Jane. I do not hesitate to say that Petunia was not only the largest cat this family has ever had, she was also the best. She was friendly to everyone, she never bit or scratched anyone, she'd follow you around like a dog and flop in your lap, all she asked in life was unfettered access to mom at all times, and for you to not try to kiss her about the face (and if you are wondering, who would ever try to kiss a cat around their head or face, THIS IS NOT THE BLOG FOR YOU.)

She had fifteen good years, which was still not really long enough.

The good news is she's now reunited with Rocky, pictured here both in their prime, when my mom had almost forty pounds of cat thundering through her house at any given times. She says she's just keeping the boys, no new kittens for her, so now our family total is down to only five cats.

Friday, January 5, 2018

New Year, Same Old Blog

Sorry for the lapse around here! We've had a good vacation. The kids finished up two weeks of camp at the YMCA, which has been a life saver. They have three hours of activity in the morning, then lunch and a nap, and we get a break and pay someone else to work as the cruise directors of their day. Plus it's either that, or I'd take them and dump them at the kidzone while I worked out.

Not that I did a ton of working out - instead I escaped to the beautiful snowy wilds of Chicago to spend almost a week with Becca, Brian and Benjy. We've been missing some best friend twin-talk time, and since Tim is home from work between Christmas and New Years, it seemed like the best time to go (for me.) Don't worry about Tim - he had the kids in camp every day, they hung out with their grandparents, and the 30th, 31st and 1st, he had parties with all of our friends.

Meanwhile, I froze to death and had to huddle under cats and small children to keep warm.

While I was freezing, Ellie was rocking this as her NYE outfit:
She is wearing little bike shorts under this outfit - after Tim sent me a picture in the morning and I had to tell him that tights aren't the same as wearing actual pants, and she need something to cover up her undies.

The only big hiccup they had during my absence was that Thor had a bladder infection (probably caused by the stress of new kittens/losing Lulu) and his blood sugar was dangerously out of whack. He spent a good part of Thursday and Friday under the care of the urgent care vet and our vet, and has bounced back wonderfully. He's actually coming to like the kittens, though Taco likes Thor more than Thor likes either of them. But he's out and about more, he's more playful, he's more social. This morning I was laying in bed and I had Thor laying across my chest and Lucky across my legs, all purring. It's not a bad way to live.

They really are some wonderful babies.

Other than camp, we've done a lot of socializing this week. Had lunch guests, dinner guests, Jolie and the lovely cousin girls came up for a hang out, and then tonight after gymnastics we hung out with Lexi and Juddy, and all of the girls (including Kristen and myself) had a hand stand and cartwheel competition. I.... did not win. But I did my best!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Meowy Christmas!

We had a great one! Well, the humans did at least...

(Thor, Lucky, Taco and Yogi Bear)

There's also this guy too:

We had a good, family-filled holiday. The kids loved opening their presents on Christmas Eve and it actually lasted longer than 15 seconds. It's always funny to see what they love - Adam opened a single matchbox car first, and acted like he'd hit the lottery, yelling "WHAT THE HECK? I DON'T LIKE IT, I LOVE IT!" Ellie's favorite present was a notebook for journaling. And they both appreciated that the Thiel cats bought them some new breath mints.

Christmas morning Ellie was thrilled to receive a stuffed animal that looked like Lulu, and a locket with a picture of her and Lulu inside, just like she asked for. She also told me though, that Santa didn't bring her anything she wanted (this was immediately following when I wouldn't let her take over Adam's newest presents.) She did however, like her embroidery kit, and is working on her handicrafts with me.

We had a really nice brunch with our grandparents - everyone was SUPER thrilled with their toys from Mimi and Poppy, and after nap time, we had a wonderful evening with the Ford Hoard. Thanks to all of the family members who were willing to play walkie talkies with Adam and his sub-par walkie talkie skills, especially his "big friend" Matthew (which is upgraded from Thanksgiving, when Adam said "he's not my friend, he's my cousin.")

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

The merriment continues! Friday morning we had Ellie's first grade Christmas program, which was very sweet. We ended up standing in the back, which was fine, because we could see her better and it gave Adam a little more space to roam. Also, I am not all about showing up a half hour early to get a bunch of seats, since I'm a lazy mom.

Can you find her? She's got a big old melon!

The kids did about 20 minutes of singing - each little group with their different costume got to come down and sing in the front for a song, which was darling.

As you can see, she truly knows that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

I got to take her home from school early, which was good because it gave everyone (including me) a chance to nap after the previous late night on the Christmas train. And then afterwards, she did her gymnastics class, which she's loving, and we packed it out to Yorba Linda for the Parmordsen party/Poppy's birthday.

Ellie was so excited to get there and see her "cousin" Carly, Adam was thrilled about the new train going around the Christmas tree. And they were both happy to see Santa this year.

Adam was especially into it this year - he made Santa pause during his reading of the Night Before Christmas to tell him about 1) his boo boo on his arm 2) his friend Judd and 3) to sing a song about peppermint sticks. And he wanted to give Santa a huge hug several times, very cute.

Such a fun, crazy group of kittens

And Santa himself, kind of a wild guy

All in all, a very successful evening, though I was pooped when we finally got home - the kids weren't in bed until almost 11! So yesterday was mostly recovery - the kids both napped for almost three hours, and I spent a solid two hours sitting and reading with the kittens curled up in my lap, which is what I call living my best life. Now, just preparing to start the onslaught of opening presents!

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Tis the season! This week is delightful and busy, getting ready for Monday.

Yesterday was Adam's last day of school, and they had their Christmas program. It's always sweet to see which kids are singing their hearts out, and who, like Adam, are chewing their finger nails and noodling around.

I'm sorry I couldn't get a better picture of this - this is his class, and he's the Wise Man on the far left, with a real goofy grin on his face. Unlike last year, when he refused to put on the angel costume.

Ellie had her class party yesterday, and then she went to the Megaparty for kids who hit a specific fundraising mark with the jogathon. They had a lot of bounce houses, a tug of war (she said girls won) and then did a lot of just playing with her friends. Her bold stylings for the party kill me.


Then we did some serious cookie decorating with Thomas and Aislinn. Lisa seriously made enough dough to provide cookies for Santa, the elves, and their families.

Tonight, we had a fantastic time taking the Christmas train to the North Pole, meeting Santa.
No one cried, and we actually had a really fun time with these amazing glasses, like 3D glasses, that allowed you to look at Christmas lights and have them turned into a holiday shape. We had snowflakes, Santa, a reindeer, gingerbread man... and it made waiting in the line for the train and Santa himself go much quicker. Adam even wore them all the way home, looking at streetlights. Thanks Auntie Becca!

And lastly, as far as merriment goes, our Christmas kittens are really settling in nicely. They are so sweet and friendly - Taco runs down the hall to greet us, purring before I even reach down to touch him. They slept with Ellie last night, and she said she woke up to find Lucky curled up next to her, purring, which is what we were hoping for with our new cats. I had told the adoption lady, we have crabby old cats, which on one hand is good because it's taught the kids to respect their animals and their boundaries. But on the other hand, I want them to have cats who want to cuddle with them and play with them.

And look at who else wants to play with them!
It's Thor! He loved the bird toy as a kitten, and now he loves it with the kittens! They are all getting along smashingly. I thought it would be weeks before he accepted them enough that we could have all three cats having free run of the house, but Monday night they were all fully integrated and friendly. Taco really wants Thor to be his buddy, and will run up and touch noses with him. Lucky is not as into him, but he hasn't so much as swatted at either of them. Plus I think he likes all the new and entertaining toys. Plus kitten food! It's funny though, now that he's the elder statesman, I keep calling him Chuckie.