Thursday, October 31, 2013


Finally, we had a great Halloween with some legitimate trick or treating!

When we started talking about Halloween, Ellie said she wanted to be a bunny (figures.) I thought that would be an easy costume to put together, since she already has her bunny vest from last year, and we also have plenty of bunny ears that she could wear. I thought it would be funny if Adam was a carrot, and so asked Jill to make a carrot hat for him. She came through with an entire carrot costume, with a little body stocking for him to wear and a little worm friend for him to love on (and he does love that worm - thank goodness it's machine washable.)

I mean look at him! He has roots, he has some great green stalky leaves!

...And then of course, Ellie decided she wanted to be a kitten. Thank goodness right about that time, she got a kitten shaped hat as a birthday present from Parissa. And Gigi found her that cute leopard print dress at Children's Orchard (which will also come in handy if she ever wants to be Pebbles for another Halloween.)

And I have a second, smaller black cat hat to ensure that they could have matching costumes if they wanted.

This morning she had her Halloween parade at preschool. I was not there because she continues to be a little melt-down prone at drop off, and her teacher thought it would be better for all involved. Then after her nap we took Sara back to Gigi's and practiced a tiny bit of trick or treating with the neighbors. We headed back to our 'hood for a trip out with our new neighbor friend Alexa, who is a few months older than Ellie and has a baby brother a few months younger than Adam. Perfect! We've been able to hang out with them a few times (after I saw them jogging on the same trail a couple of times and then saw them in my neighborhood and so decided to hunt them down) and it's been really nice to finally find people with kids the same age in our area, as many of the owners on our street are original owners, or have kids who are school aged.

Ellie and Alexa were quite the little pair. They walked holding hands and fought over who got to ring each door bell, and then they were both very good about saying trick or treat (and more importantly, saying thank you.) Having not been trick or treating in recent years, I hadn't really thought through how it would go. A couple of houses had scary displays that freaked the girls out a little. One house was the best - the guy opened the door and his excited pug ran outside and jumped on both girls. They got scared and fell over into his giant devil decoration by the door. So the guy is trying to get his dog back in the house, right his Satan statue and give the girls candy and convince them that it's okay. Ellie was not pleased at houses with jumpy dogs, that's for sure.

Then we were able to go meet up with Tim and trick or treat a couple of houses on our street. It was great to say hi to all the neighbors and the timing worked out perfectly - after we visited friendly, non-jumpy puppy Murphy it was time to come home and have dinner.

All in all, a perfect Halloween.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Family Pictures!

We got the proofs from our family shoot back last night, and I am IN LOVE. I was so worried about the whole thing - kids are hard to wrangle, Ellie is especially annoying about having her picture taken and you know, Adam is a baby. But I think Julie did a fantastic job capturing the spirit of each kid, and getting some great shots of us as a whole.

Here's some of my faves:

It's easy to have so many favorites when the kiddos are so cute.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

More Fall Fun!

We are having some seriously fun Halloween times this fall. First Halloween, we did nothing. The second Ellie went out to Yorba Linda and last year she was barfing most of the day. But this year we have already had a great run of pumpkin patch and other holiday gourd fun time, continuing today with a trip to Mimi and Pa's house for East Lake's Halloween party for the kiddos.

We started off with a short ride in the horse drawn carriage, which was thankfully not over run by bank robbers.

Then a looooong wait for the bounce house. All the kids love the bounce house, but they only get to go in for five minutes at a time. It ended up working out okay because Ellie had to wait an extra turn (because of kids cutting in line, the horrible brats) and so she ended up bouncing with kids closer to her age, instead of being the only toddler amidst a bunch of seven year old boys. She then cried when it was time to go (SO SURPRISING AND UNLIKE HER.)

Thankfully, she was easily motivated to go look for more candy (some of the booths had stuff for the kids) and we were waylaid by a guy with a goat on a leash. Did you know that kids dressed as cats wearing glass candy corn necklaces love goats?

Well, they do.

Turns out, they had a whole little pen full of friendly animals, including Ellie's favorite animal, the white rabbit. The chicken came over to try to get some love for her too, but she rejected him. And I rejected a second goat who tried to eat her hat.

It was all very fun for her, and then she finally got a lollipop to eat on the way home (from a booth. Not as in a gross joke about how kids would probably eat animal poop if you let them.)

Then she got a cupcake at Mimi's house and some playdoh time. What more could a kiddo want?

Lastly, I finally got this photo off my little camera - here's all of us from the pumpkin patch field trip the other day. These kids crack me up.
I know, I should have let Adam be the astronaut. He's the one who shares the birthday with Jim Lovell, after all.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Seven Months.

Yes, he is the most dapper, well dressed baby you know. If it's not a tuxedo, it's suspenders. This is actually the first piece of clothing I bought for Adam, after looking through many racks for many weeks, wondering sadly why boy clothes are so boring and/or ugly. I think he wears it well, even if he probably won't wear it for long, since he continues to grow like a weed.

We had our family pictures taken this past week and while Adam was barely able to stay stable long enough for a couple of sitting pictures, he was strong up on his hands and toes trying to crawl, crawl, crawl when we laid him down. I can't leave him alone in the living room any more, as he immediately goes for Ellie's puzzles, the receiver, or the electrical cords in the corner. He is a determined little boy. Feeding solid food is going better - both carrots and squash are meeting with his approval, mostly because he can suck them off the spoon with the same mechanics he uses for nursing. It's funny how different the two kiddos are - with Adam he does best if I feed him in his room, with the shades drawn and lots of quiet. He's so easily distracted, whereas you could have sent a marching band past Ellie and she wouldn't have looked up from nursing. He is willing to go to sleep on his own however, and so he's got a point on E that way.

He's been a drooly mess for the past few weeks, and then today I realized that a bottom tooth has started breaking through the gums. Teething adventures 2.0 begin!

Yes, that is an enormous ribbon of drool.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Check Ups.

Today was Ellie's three year visit. Adam came along because he's a baby and can't stay home alone, and also because he was due for a shot he missed at his six month check up. So, fun for everyone.

Ellie was really nervous as we walked in, but warmed up remarkably quickly. She's 38.25 inches tall (80th percentile) and almost 36 pounds (90th percentile) and meeting all of her milestones. She enjoyed chatting with the doctor and having her examine Smelly Cat. Then there was a lot of sadness around the fact that she doesn't need to get a shot. Seriously.

Then poor Adam, who wasn't scheduled for a real check up, got three shots. He was less than pleased, but in his good natured way, stopped the second I picked him up. And I was thankful that Ellie didn't freak out about it. She just wanted to see his band aids.

Now Adam won't go back until nine months, and Ellie won't need to go back until four. I feel so grateful to have two healthy, perfect kiddos. We've been lucky in that apart from Adam's early visits to double check his jaundice, we haven't ever had to take the kids for a sick visit, or make an emergency room trip for any reason. Nothing more than the average stomach flu or occasional runny  nose. May we be fortunate to have that streak stay unbroken!

Here is a video of both kids yesterday, post-nap.

Monday, October 21, 2013

So This is Happening.

Yes, that is a baby, up on his hands and knees, rocking back and forth and attempting to crawl.

So he gets himself up

Then he sort of plops forward, pushing himself towards whatever it is his little heart desires.

Then perhaps a breather, before trying to do it again.

Worse comes to worse, there is always rolling as a means to traveling.

Please note, he is not even seven months old yet. And my house is still completely unbaby-proofed (because by the time Ellie started letting me be out of her sight for more than an instant she was walking, talking, and understood the concept of not sticking her fingers in outlets.) I am not quite prepared for how fast he is growing.

I am also not prepared to be up in the middle of the night again, helping him get back to sleep when his brain wakes him up by having him practice crawling in his sleep. Babies are crazy.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Our little lady girlfriend is three - how did that happen so fast? She's been very excited about her birthday for weeks, as most little kids are, and has been mostly intent on discussing the dessert menu (cake, ice cream and WHIPPED CREAM!) She got up on her birthday and came and crawled into bed with us, and we listened to the Beatles "Birthday," which she loved. Then we spent most of the morning cooking and baking. Pancakes for breakfast, our dinner meals, and the world's ugliest birthday cake.

She wanted a pink cake with purple frosting. As you can see, I am not that great with the food coloring. Enjoy your bloody gray cake with random hot pink sprinkles! (she was in charge of the sprinkling.) It still tasted okay, and Ellie thought it was beautiful, so that's what matters.

Our families came over after nap time, and it was GAME ON. Ellie immediately opened any present that came into her orbit and was so excited about each thing she received. She immediately requested an outfit change into her new shirt from Mimi, and then she and Gigi started making jewelry with the new beads Sara had gifted to her.

(a lecture about not eating beads, and not letting Adam eat beads.)

It is so sweet to see Ellie with her grandpas. She may run to her Gigi and her Mimi first, but she knows when she needs a sucker... err.. a playmate, it's best to hit up Pa or Grizz. Pa for gentle play, Grizz for screaming and rough housing.

There was a lot of bubbling blowing with Pa and also with Sara. We had to almost physically pull her into the house to eat dinner and have cake.

It was really a fun night. A little crazy towards the end as Ellie got revved up on sugar, but good. I am always glad at the end of the evening that we just have our families over, and don't do a huge friends and family and everyone we know party. Maybe when she's a little older.

And then, for reference, when I went in to take a sneaky photo of her at 10:30pm (the time of her actual birth) SHE WAS STILL AWAKE. This is why I roll my eyes whenever anyone suggests that Ellie will go to sleep without a fight. The kid hates being well rested.

Adam had been tired the whole party, but hung in pretty well. He was happy to snuggle between Mimi and Gigi, with a brief break to get smashed up in the ergo. Then at the end of the night, we tried to get a few family photos.

It was not our best effort. Thank goodness for professional photos on Wednesday. Or not, depending on how well the session goes.

I was telling Tim yesterday that the third birthday feels different than the other two. The first year, we were mostly proud of ourselves for having kept her alive for an entire 365 days. Her second year, she was still so much a baby. But watching her turn three, I feel really proud of her. Proud of the little girl she's become and who she's going to be. I'm proud of her spunk and spirit and what a sweet, loving big sister she's become. I'm proud of how much she loves music and books and dancing

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Birthday Morning.

I can't think of anyone funnier or sweeter.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Where Oh Where Oh Where is Ellie?

Way down yonder in the pumpkin patch!

Here she is, hatching her pumpkin.

On Monday Ellie's class had a field trip to the Irvine Park Railroad to visit the pumpkin patch. I opted to go along as a chaperon because for one, I didn't want to try getting my car seat out of the car to put it into another parent's car, and for two, my child is a bit of a dumpster fire about her new classroom (still) so I thought me going with her would be the best plan. PLUS I didn't want miss out on her fun!

We got to take a train ride around the park (this is the same place we go to ride the train and meet Santa in December) and then they led the kids through a little maze of hay bales, and a "spooky house," which Ellie went through quite happily. The kids got to pick out a small pumpkin and have lunch and then we were done! I liked watching her play with her class mates - there was a lot of running around and squealing. I think it is still a bit of an adjustment because she's new, and because she's turning three while a lot of them are turning four, but all the other kids are very sweet to her.

Her favorite part was afterwards, when we went to the moon bounce house.

She was so into it that at one point she actually SLID back out the opening. And promptly scrambled right back in to bounce some more. I remember when she was tiny (or before I had kids) we'd go to kids birthday parties and they'd have a rented bounce house dominating their back yard, and I would be sort of mystified by it, but turns out, ALL kids love them. Even my kid, who sometimes seems to dislike all things fun.

Otherwise, it's been a quiet week. She had her school pictures yesterday (we did not opt to get her individual picture taken because the prints are expensive, she hates having her picture taken, and we're having family photos done next week) but she was there for the class picture (and hopefully is smiling, or at least not actively screaming.) We've had a lot of fun play dates this week with her little pals, and the weather has been so nice that on Monday Ellie and her little gal pal ended up starkers in the back yard, climbing into the water table and chasing each other with the hose.

Mostly we are gearing up for the big 0-3 this Saturday. Hard to believe three years ago today was her due date!

I also thought everyone would enjoy a little more fun from the game this Saturday. We have lots of good game faces.

Yes, all the children in my lap, even though we had four seats. That would be grrrrrrrreat.

Cheering for the band with her daddy. I don't know which fact I'm proud of: the fact that she is potty trained by age 3, or the fact that she can perform the 8 clap by age 3. Probably the latter, even though the former helps improve my life more.

And if you haven't gotten enough of her singing voice, let me present the Family Band: