Saturday, November 30, 2013

And You Can Hear, From Far and Near


Bruins 35, Trojans 14!

She was not the best of spectators, but she was pleased by this pom pom that I asked a student to give her (he had two.) We were sitting smack dab in the middle of USC fans, so she needed a little something special.

Adam fell asleep so hard that he was snoring. Just when I think he's too big for all of this Ergo nonsense, he proves that he can still snooze on the go.

Though he did not appreciate when Ellie sat on him. Yes, she did ask me to draw cat make up on her again.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Most of us had a great Thanksgiving - Tim however, had a migraine and missed out on almost all of the food and fun (he did get to go over to Gigi and Grizz's house with me in the morning, where he promptly went and laid down. I took a nap on the couch too, so I can't judge.) But Ellie and Adam were still happy to take all of our food over to Mimi's for the big family party, where Ellie immediately took to practicing her swing on the new putting green, and Adam was happy to smile and coo for all of the various aunties and uncles and cousins in attendance.

Adam wore a hand me down pajama outfit with a turkey on the butt and feet, which was pretty adorable and Ellie wore a dress I got for her at the consignment store, which features merino, angora and cashmere. I like telling her it's made of bunny and goat fur and watching how mad she gets.

This is the only photo I got of the two of them together, but it was the sweetest. This is how they were happily sitting while I was putting together mushroom casserole in the morning.

I feel sort of bad about not getting any higher quality "baby's first Thanksgiving" photos, but the only photo I have of Ellie on her first Thanksgiving is one of her sitting in Jan's guest room, wailing. At least Adam got a tiny taste of whipped cream on his first Thanksgiving! Ellie had to wait until the second year to start hitting the delicious sauce.

Now she is an old pro.

"turkey and potatoes? This in't what I ordered!"

Then today Adam really upped the ante on holiday fun. I left mid-afternoon for a quiet coffee date with myself, and when I came home, he was really crawling! Funny - that's also what happened when Ellie started crawling. I take an hour off from parenting, and come back to an even more troublesome baby!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Two Four Six Eight.

Our little Mr. Baby Man is eight months old, as of yesterday! I cannot believe how fast time is going - I don't remember it going this quickly with Ellie, that's for sure.

At eight months Adam is not quite yet crawling on his hands and knees, but believe me, he gets where ever he wants to go. He is completely untrustworthy if left alone in a room now, because he instantly goes to electrocute himself, choke himself, or turn the volume knob on the receiver. So if I'm not in the room with him, he either goes into his crib or his exersaucer. The good news is he's totally amenable to all of those plans. He's just now starting to balance when we sit him up, but he's still really not interested in sitting up as a way to spend his day. Once he sees a toy he wants, he flops himself over and goes for it. I feel like he'll be able to start pulling up before he'll be able to sit up.

He usually eats two different baby foods every night, and has started getting more table food and finger food. I put Cheerios on his tray while we're having dinner and he is starting to get one or two into his mouth. He has also eaten an entire sugar snap pea on his own, and I'm looking forward to feeding him bits of Thanksgiving dinner. He continues to nurse well in the meanwhile.

Sleep has been hit or miss this past month. Mostly misses, with him sometimes waking up every three hours to eat like he's never been fed before. The good news is that he only eats for about ten minutes, and then is happy to be plopped back in his crib. Same at nap time - if he doesn't immediately roll over and snuggle up with Lambykins, he will either talk to himself for awhile, or cry for just a few minutes before settling down with his bottom straight up in the air.

He loves to babble, and he loves to talk with his sister and laugh at her antics.

We're now up to four teeth. You can see his fang here - the fourth tooth is the other fang, but it hasn't come in quite as far. He had a rough week last week as it was really cutting through - his poor little gum looked like a blood blister.

In Ellie news, we had some of our Mommy Matters pals over yesterday. Tre (the oldest, on the far left) was visiting from his new home in Oregon, so a couple of us got together for an hour of loud play time. It's amazing to see the kids together, because they're such KIDS now. They were running around with toy cars and chatting with each other and keep one another pretty entertained. As you can see, there are two little siblings already in the picture, and the other two boys are getting little sisters in the coming weeks. SO MANY BABIES!

Some of Ellie's recent funnies include turning to Gigi and out of nowhere saying "is there a problem here Sheriff?" and yesterday when Grizz told her he couldn't carry her anymore (joking with her about how big she is) she countered with "why, are your hands broken?"

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We Run The City.

Uff da, what a weekend! (I know I say that many weekends.)

Friday night Mimi and Pa came over for supper, and there was much rejoicing and singing and dancing in the land. And then after the kids were in bed I met my girlfriends at a piano bar, where I wore sequins and a fake mustache that my friend had inexplicably brought with her for all of us to wear.

Yesterday started as just a quiet day at home. I went to the gym, I came home to find all of the children crying, and then Tim took Ellie to the park while I got Adam down for a nap - the fresh air did her good and then while she was napping, Adam and I went to the grocery store and tried to do all of our weekend and Thanksgiving shopping. It was quite the trip, as I had an enormous list, and was trying to stock up on everything, thus avoiding my usual cooking and baking problems, like when it's 10pm and I start trying to make something for the next day and realize that I have two bags of flour in the pantry, but no sugar (or visa versa.) I think I am set at least through Thanksgiving now. If I wrote a cooking blog, it would be called "oh shoot! Honey, can you run to the store real quick?"

Our friends just bought a new house and had done most of their final moving in on Saturday morning, and they invited us over for pizza and football, so we made an appetizer and headed over to break in the new digs. The girls were all excited to be together and so there was much toddler yelling, much yelling at the television, and just general loudness before we finally got ourselves on the way home way past bed time. Basically, we just threw the kids in bed and hoped for the best, because today was the big day - the Run the City 5K to benefit Special Olympics. UCLA and USC are two of the sponsors of the event for rivalry week, leading up to the game on Saturday.

I've done several fundraising runs in my day, and also just runs for fun and as a way to motivate me to keep working out, but before I had kids, I always ran on the treadmill in the gym. In my new life, there isn't much time for dedicated gym going, but there's plenty of time in the morning for an outing with my best friend BOB (aka my fancy jogging stroller.) Unless the weather is really terrible, the kids and I are out every morning for about an hour, jogging most of the way. If it's a preschool day I run longer, because there is less running commentary from the stroller. The rest of the days I'm pushing 50 pounds of kids, half of it uphill, getting a work out to all my major muscle groups. But it's what helps keep me sane and happy, and it's good for the kids to get out and get some fresh air, and see their mama taking care of herself. So today was actually the first race where I felt like I knew I could do the distance without a problem. My main worry was how I'd do without a stroller in front of me - what if I immediately pitched forward and busted out all of my teeth?

When I heard about the run, I decided to get me together a team and to try to do some serious fundraising for the athletes served by Special Olympics. The Bad News Bruins grew to seven members, and raised over $1,800 - we were one of the leading fundraising teams despite being one of the smaller groups. My college roommate Annie is one of the most dedicated Bruin fans I know, and she was a great fundraiser - she facebooked, she emailed, she texted her friends and demanded that they give to her. I love it! I am so glad that we were able to make a difference.

So this morning we got the kids up early and headed out, all of our gear in tow. We made it to the USC campus with time to spare, and so met up with our team and Mimi and Pa, who'd come to spectate, and settled in. Adam was happy to get passed around and Ellie ran all over the place like a loon. What more could you want? We'd hoped Jake would win the entire deal, but he got smoked by a teenager. I was hoping to finish in under a half hour, but came in around 31 minutes. It was my best road race so far - I felt really good and like I could have gone farther, and I actually passed people instead of getting passed. Plus when we were all lined up in the staring area, Bruins on one side and Trojans on the other, Annie and I initiated a giant 8 clap. BRUIN PRIDE!

The heart shaped sunglasses are how you know I mean serious business.

Possibly the best part was Ellie's insistence on yelling "yay Meg!" and calling me Meg all afternoon. She had a great time spectating with her daddy and grandparents, and I think everyone else appreciated using our giant stroller as a storage bin for phones and coats and water bottles.

Afterwards there was a pancake breakfast and our team picture
And then since we were near the California Science Center, we had a quick detour to see the space shuttle Endeavor.

Charity, AND culture in the same afternoon! We didn't get to do as much looking around as we would have liked - both kids were tired and starting to get squirrely. Adam fell asleep immediately in the car, and Ellie ate a sandwich and some carrot sticks and fell asleep right as we were coming home. They both proceeded to nap for close to three hours (and I got a 45 minute snooze in there myself.)

Then the Bad News Bruins came over for an early Thanksgiving dinner, courtesy of a silent auction item that Erl won at another charity fundraiser we were all at a few weeks ago. We had turkey breast and stuffing and yams and brussel sprouts and an amazing salad, plus a couple of extra desserts. It was all incredibly delicious, and a really fun way to end the day.

And now, I want to go and sleep for a million years.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Long Wait.

THIS IS IT! The day Ellie has been waiting on for months and months and months. Since before she even had a little brother, she has been excited about the idea of going to Costco and having her brother ride next to her in the big cart. AND TODAY IT FINALLY HAPPENED! We went and picked up Thor's new package of insulin (the first package lasted us almost an entire year, so that's great news) and then we ate some samples and went to get Auntie Sara. We also saw some Christmas trees, so I sang "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" while Ellie did wild hand motions.

Yesterday on our walk she was cracking me up with her singing. First she sang the familiar holiday tune "jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the PEOPLE!" Then she was asking about her friend Alexa, who we did not happen to run into. So Ellie starts going "where is Alexa? Is she in the tree? No, she's not in the tree. Is she in the grass? No, she's not in the grass," and then after she had talked about all of the nature things around us (including asking if Alexa was in a rock, in a fence, on the ground...) she moved on to asking "is Alexa on a caterpillar? No, she's not on a caterpillar. Is she a yogurt? She's not on a yogurt!" It was hysterical, and went on through a million permutations.

When we get home, we also have a fun routine. First, as we hit the hill at the top of our street, the neighbor's dogs bark at us, and Ellie demands that I tell them not to bark at her because she's asleep, and that they should go home and see their mommies. Then when we park our beast of a stroller in the garage, she likes for me to point at her and Adam and go back and forth saying "Missy Moo, Baby Boo, Missy Moo, Baby Boo" and then, EVERY morning, she yells "and what did Baby Boo didn't do?" I inform her that he didn't take a nap, and it's okay, he can take one in his bed. She asks why he didn't take a nap, and I say he liked to see the whole big world, and she tells me it's a small world. Thanks, Disneyland.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tiny Family Band.

Ellie on piano and vocals

Adam on drums

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Recent Videos

Please enjoy Adam refusing to pick up his hands, and drooling like a fountain. He is cutting his fourth tooth, the second fang. Vampire baby! The poor little guy is up in the middle of the night again, and his gum is pretty swollen and tender - I tried to run my finger on it to help it break through, and he started crying. But he's generally in good spirits. Right now he eats two little portions of pureed food for dinner (usually a green vegetable and an orange vegetable) and now that his grip is better we've started offering him things he can hold and feed himself - a penne noodle, a sugar snap pea, and this morning a strip of pancake. He's quickly figuring it out.

Thursday we went to Target after preschool and while we were wandering the aisles, I offered to get Ellie a rainbow whisk of her very own, and a new pink spatula. Her excitement was so sweet and overwhelming that I nearly started crying. Best six bucks I've ever spent. Then the second she woke up from her nap, she wanted to bake something, so I got out a little cookbook of cookies, and she picked snowballs. So here we are, working in the kitchen.

Friday afternoon we took a nap at Gigi and Grizz's house. Rather, we were SUPPOSED to. At 4:30 I went to go get Ellie so we could go to the Fashion Island Christmas tree lighting. She'd been quiet in her room for over two hours, but when I walked in, she announced "I SCREWED AROUND!" and when I asked her if she'd slept, she said no... and then burst into tears. I was expecting the evening to be a total mess, but she was actually great. She enjoyed the tree lighting and then did a good job of sitting nicely at dinner with Jake and Dawn (I think it helped that we were at the Yardhouse - it's already loud, and we were seated in a booth by the kitchen) and then after eating, we let her go back to the Christmas tree where they were playing Christmas tunes. It was a very fun evening.

Of course, then we got home late and weren't able to do bath time before bed. Ellie slept in until 8:30 the next morning... but Adam made me pay with three over night wake ups.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An Evening in Suburbia.


So, my parents went to the Midwest for various sporting events and family times, AND DID NOT EVEN INVITE ME. They are essentially huge jerks, no ifs ands or buts. Plus Tim had evening engagements three out of the last four nights, leaving me to deal with the feeding, bathing and bedding of two small children (which is usually the craziest part of the day, and most exhausting.) It makes me realize that I am not meant to homestead, or home school. I do best when I have a second set of hands around, and another adult who will listen to my ramblings.

The fortunate thing is that we've had lots of company these past few days and nights. Friday night one of my girlfriends came for dinner and helped me get everyone off to dreamland, and then when Tim got home she and I went out for drinks and dessert. Saturday Mimi and Pa came over for supper and a long fabulous dance party, and then we went out for Golden Spoon (or as Ellie calls it, the Ice Cream Store.) Monday morning Pari and Mila came over, which thrilled Ellie beyond words. It is so sweet and funny to see her with Mila, because Ellie is allllll over her. It's like she's never seen a seven month old baby before. She actually said (in front of her brother, no less!) that Mila was her favorite baby. I also love it because Mila reminds me of Ellie on many levels (not only because she's wearing Ellie's old clothes.) I wonder what it will be like when Mila is three and Ellie is six, and if they'll get along, or if they will hammerhead at each other. Pari and I manage to be friends despite each being impossible pains in the asses, so I remain hopeful. Then Monday night we went to the mall to return some pants, eat a smoothie and play in the play ground area. Do I know how to entertain, or what?

Yesterday Mimi and Ellie had their morning of fun together and then my friend Lauren came down to spend the day. She was so sweet to go with our flow and just hang out. We had to go check on the cats and water the plants and Ellie begged to wear her bathing suit, and since it was so nice out, she ran around and got squirted with the hose while I watered. Nothing better than spraying your kid straight in the face. Today after our walk she went to Mommy's Nail Salon and we had our nails done (matching polish, naturally) and then had lunch with the ladies. We're keeping busy, it's true, but the nicest part is when we can facetime with Gigi and Sara for a minute or two.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

iPhone Photos.

Just a collection of recent snaps:

And yet, he can't crawl.

He constantly tries to change the volume. This is when he's not trying to eat a computer charging cord, or find a plastic bag to stuff in his mouth. He is basically like a terrible pet rabbit.

Speaking of the devil!

Perhaps enjoying the park a bit too much

Ellie and Clare having a dance party

Riding the swan at Granny Janny's

She asked me to draw kitty whiskers on her for a birthday party today

And then the face painter there made her into a purple bunny and undid all of my fine, fine work.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Same Diff.

The teething growth spurt continues in our house - for the past few weeks it seems like I've been up at least once a night with at least one kid, and usually the cats come in to bother me too. The good news is that when Adam wakes up hungry, he eats for about ten minutes, snuggles for a minute or two, and then within seconds of me laying him back in his crib, he will flip over and stick his rump in the air and go back to sleep (aka: assume the "up butt" position.) Meanwhile, I am pretty good at going back to sleep myself, for which I am thankful. I shuffle back across the hall, get into bed and pull the covers over my head (aka: the "angry bear in a cave" position) and fall back to sleep.

It's just so different than with Ellie - she had a similar growth spurt at this age, and we would be up with her for HOURS trying to soothe her back to sleep. She stopped sleeping in her crib at eight months because she wouldn't stay asleep when we moved her into it, so we just started letting her sleep in the queen sized bed. Meanwhile, Adam will stay awake for our entire morning walk, just waiting to be laid down in his crib when we return. The fresh air does us all good though, even if I'd rather he close his eyes. At least he's stopped crying on walks. The same cannot be said for Ellie - my favorite is when she starts crying for me and when I stop to ask her what's wrong, she says "I'm just going to relax in my stroller now." Thanks for telling me! I especially appreciate that you made a big stink while I was in the middle of pushing uphill! Also funny abotu sleep - the other morning I heard him chattering in his crib, and we listened to him for about ten minutes, as Tim and I were snuggled up with a very cuddly three year old (she likes to climb in with us around 7am and put her freezing cold feet on my stomach.) When I got up and went to get Adam, I found that he had peed through his diaper and his whole crib was wet. Yet was he crying? Not at all. Just happy to be awake and see us.

This morning while Adam was playing on the floor I noticed that he is cutting a THIRD tooth. The funny thing is, he's cutting the exact same one that Ellie got - an upper fang. He's got both bottom front teeth, and now this little fang poking through. I feel like it's coming sooner than it did with Ellie, though I can't remember too terribly well. I just know she had only three teeth at her first birthday, and her first birthday was the first time that I really caught her tooth on camera.

What a little cupcake she was.

Adam is soooo close to crawling. If only he'd pick up his hands, he'd be unstoppable. But he continues to mostly roll around and do the electric worm. He has no problem getting where he wants to go around the house. Meanwhile, at this age, Ellie could barely roll over, but she was sure good at sitting up. I think because she had a chubbier backside to balance on. He's got the same size melon, but teeny butt and thin thighs.

Meanwhile, I am amazed at how big Ellie is. Size wise and maturity wise. She is so independent now, and can do so much for herself. She's all about picking out her own clothes, and is starting to get herself dressed. She can go potty by herself, complete with hand washing and drying. She likes to open the fridge, and though she can't reach the yogurts, once I hand one down to her, she can select and grab a spoon, get herself into her chair, open the yogurt and start eating, and when she's done she puts her spoon in the sink and her yogurt in the recyling. She loves to help empty the dishwasher and do laundry, and has started helping me sort lights and darks, and will take her own clothes back to her room, where her task is putting away all her socks and undies. She is such a sweet little mama to all of her bunnies and babies, and loves loving on her brother and the cats. Thor has been snuggling with us in the morning, and it just makes her life. It's so fun to see what goes on in her little head, and hear the crazy things she comes up with. Her joy and wildness is infectious.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Family That Laughs Together.

My ab hurt from laughing tonight, thanks to dinner at Grizz and Gigi's house. Ellie was absolutely on a roll.

First during biscuit making time with Grizz, instead of putting the biscuits on the pan, she kept stuffing glops into her mouth. And then what she didn't eat, she'd try to put back on the plate. Thanks for the germs, kid! During dinner Grizz made a joke about how at the upcoming Packer game, look for Sara streaking naked on the field. We all laughed and let it go, and then a half hour later Ellie turned to Sara and said "I'm going to see you running naked on the field!" Sara feigned offense, denied she'd be streaking and tried to blame Grizz, which only got Ellie's gears grinding harder, as she continued to repeat that Sara was going to run NAKED across the field. We were all dying laughing.

Then she followed up with a session of the family band. It is so cute to watch her wander around the room, assigning instruments, screaming at Grizz that it's not time to sing yet and he isn't supposed to sing, only her. Then after a few rounds of "You Are My Sunshine" she went around and made everyone trade instruments. Grizz started making a joke about how everyone likes him best and no one likes Gigi and Ellie burst into tears. When we asked her what was wrong, she sniffled "Grizz was using his rude words." She and Grizz are a loud, lovely duo of craziness. The company and the delicious comfort food made day light savings seem not quite so dark.