Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Pictures.

From the 23rd, at Pa's birthday party:
Ellie now enjoys Santa. Even moreso since he brought her star earrings.

Adam, not so much.

Focker family fun!

And here's all the kids. Adam is off screaming.

Christmas Eve at Gigi and Grizz's
Adam loved this little musical Christmas tree of Sara's. And her hat.

The kids in their matching Christmas jammies, "helping" everyone else open their presents. 

And after all of the holiday carnage, pause for a photo with Gigi and Grizz. The Anna doll from Auntie Sara was a huge hit. Also, when I look at these photos, it's really obvious why the Thiels think Adam is a carbon copy of his grandfather.

Here. Perhaps this picture will help you see it better. Adam is doing his badger impression.

Santa brought Ellie a Frozen bike! A big girl bike! She loves it.

Adam got a scooter, but was more impressed with the new babies who came in the basket

Achieve ramming speed!

This morning we had everyone over for brunch, and I managed to have the entire meal ready to go by the time they arrived, except for the fried eggs, which were perfectly prepared by the Eggman (Grizz) yet again. Ellie was so excited to show off her bike and play with everyone, and it was nice to eat and relax together while the kids were at their best (before the real exhaustion set in.) They did thankfully take naps, though it was hard to pry Adam out of their new playhouse that Mimi and Pa gave them. And then back to Mimi and Pa's for a holiday celebration with the family. Ellie rode her bike, bossed Nina and Thalia around a little and did legos. They both had a great time, and now I'm hoping we can spend the next few days catching up on sleep and exercise. Or I am going to have to spend all of my Christmas money on tents - both for wearing and for napping.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas, Part One!

I promise photos at a later date (by the 27th, I promise!) but for now, just an update about the past week.

In negligent parenting information, Tim and I got to go away this weekend, for TWO WHOLE NIGHTS. It was divine. I mean, being able to sleep in for two nights and being fancy free from responsibility for two days - we could have gone to a rocky hole in the ground and just laid there, in the pouring rain, and it would have been like a fantastic tropical paradise. I mean - we got delayed in the airport for two hours and it was amazing how easy it felt, because all I had to do was sit and read my book. No one was pulling on me or running around or peeing their pants or crying. Or rather, if they were, they weren't my problem.

But rather than just going to a hole in the ground, we flew into San Francisco, spent the morning poking around the city with Becca, went into a jewelry store (where I tried on a $175,000 diamond ring) and then Brian landed at SFO, picked up our rental car and squired us away to the Napa Valley, where our mission was to eat at the world renown French Laundry restaurant. Becca and I have both made eating there a life goal, and through a couple of days of diligently calling their reservation line (reservations open up two months in advance) she was able to get us a seating! Sunday afternoon we had a tour and tasting of Nickel and Nickel winery and then had lunch at a little pub place, and then went home to take naps and clean up and get ready to eat.

The meal was amazing. It's course after course of beautiful, perfect food. Small portions, but cooked beautifully and with these amazing sauces and garnishes - all I wanted to do was make sure that I got a bit of every delicious element in each bite. We were there eating, drinking, talking and laughing for four hours. It was truly an unforgettable experience. If you request, you can go tour the kitchen, and we actually spoke with Chef Thomas Keller. When he asked what had happened to Brian (he sprained his ankle at work and was on crutches) I immediately sassed "I hit him with my car."

On Monday we traveled back to Orange County. The kids had done really well, but Thor got spooked while Gigi was trying to give him an insulin injection and he turned and bit her several times in the hand, and it immediately got infected. So Monday she went to urgent care for treatment, and I got a text mid-day from my dad that my mom was going to lay down and he was in charge of the kids. Thankfully, Gigi's hand is on the mend, and Thor wrote her a letter of apology. He's not a mean animal, he is just SO DUMB and when he spooks, he goes feral, and sadly, he went feral on Gigi. Thankfully, she's lived a lifetime with bitey cats. None with as germy of a mouth though, I guess. I knew Ellie would have a blast and not miss us, but I was worried about Adam. Apparently he took it all in stride, though when he woke up from his nap on Sunday he ask "no mommy? No daddy? No mommy? No daddy?" and then accepted when Gigi told him "nope, just Gigi!"

Since then it's been all holidays, all the time. Yesterday morning we had a dozen kids and their moms over for a cookie decorating party to get ready for Santa. I swept the floor before everyone arrived to deal with all of the cat fur and play doh, and then I swept after they left because there were sprinkles and sugar sequins all over the ground. It was a really fun morning with a house full of craziness. And then we got everyone down for a nap and then off to Mimi and Pa's house for the Parmordsen party/Pa's birthday. Ellie was so excited to see everyone and then SANTA came, and he had the STAR EARRINGS that she's been asking for all season! Much screaming when I took out her original studs, but her new earrings are in and looking and feeling fabulous. She gave Santa a huge hug, but Adam cried when we put him anywhere near the jolly old man. The kids both lasted until almost ten, and that was even after Ellie demanded that the whole party move out to Mimi's new front patio to have a dance party. She cracks me up.

This morning was slightly quieter. We cleaned up around the house and Adam took two naps, and then after everyone was rested up, we went over to Gigi and Grizz's to open presents. Ellie could barely hold herself together, waiting to tear into everything, whether it belonged to her or not. She just loves to "help." It was fun to watch how thrilled they were with everything, from Adam and his new broom to Ellie and her traffic cones to set up and knock down. Plus all the peppermint patties they could eat! They are both at such a sweet age. Adam loves saying "ho ho ho" and is trying to say Merry Christmas, and Ellie has truly fallen in love with all of the magic, though she worries me with how smart she is and how much she remembers. I feel like I have to be verrrrrrry careful, beceause one slip up and she's going to figure out how the Santa Sausage is made.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Video Updates.

Last night was Ellie's Christmas concert, and it was as usual, so cute that I wanted to burst into tears with the sweetness of it all. Her teachers do so much to make it a nice night - snacks and drinks and all of our little kiddos, singing their hearts out. Sara and Gigi had a Special Olympics event and weren't able to make it, but Ellie had Grizz, Mimi and Pa in the audience, which she loved. She's so funny - she told Grizz about how Paige is her best friend in class, but "Paige is not a good singer like me." That kid, she's got her mom's teflon self esteem and ego.

The other great part is how she told me several times over the week "Mommy. We made a present for you, and I give it to you after I finish singing. But it's a surprise."

Not to be outdone, but here is a video of my pal Adam talking it up. He is such a goof. The past week or so I can't shower without him bothering me, so it's easier to just let him in for a soak. And yesterday while running we got caught in the rain so I had BOTH kids begging to come in with me and warm up. There is no peace in this house!

Today after I picked Ellie up from school, we went to go see the knitters for a bit. It's harder now that Ellie is in school on Wednesdays, but it's always a treat when we can see them all. Today they were at Janet's, which we all love because WEINER DOGS. Four weiner dogs to be exact. Ellie loved petting them all, and Adam loved telling them to quit barking. And the dogs loved having some kids right at face licking level.

Then we went upstairs to see all of Janet's Christmas decorations and in one of the extra bedrooms were a few knit dolls that Jill had made. To be specific, there were Anna and Elsa knit dolls. Ellie immediately scooped them up and asked to take them home, and Janet said she could have them. Those ladies, so sweet. They spoil the dickens out of my kiddos. Janet even had a knit kitty that Adam picked up and started kissing.

Life doesn't really get any better, does it?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Goofy Grapes.

Adam is talking more and more every day. It's so funny what he's picked up on, and it's also funny to me how he has a sort of breathy, yet yelly voice, unlike Ellie who was all muppet all the time. He loves to ask for toothpaste and to "brush teeth." He loves Cookie and Elmo from Sesame Street, and can name most animals and the sounds they make. He adores the 'no man on our tree, and when we pass the 'no man holiday yard decorations around town. He also likes to touch the lights and say hot. Ditto the stove, though it's never stopped him from wanting to be right next to me any time I'm cooking. I swear, he's got radar. He can be across the house and when I go to open the oven door, there he is, coming around the corner, looking to hop right in like Hansel and Gretel.

Tonight the kids and I were on our own - Gigi and Grizz had hot date night (the one night a week they escape their wretched daughters and grandchildren) and Tim is working late, so we came home, had some supper and then went on a special tour of the lights in the neighborhood. Just a quick little loop, but I gave the kids some hot chocolate to sip in their stroller. Ellie was insane with joy, but Adam didn't like it. The crazy thing is, we went down one side street and Ellie goes "that's the house that has Elmo." We walked by that house ONCE at the holidays last year. ONCE. And she was right - there Elmo was, along with approximately one million other light up figures. Goodness knows what else that kid has stored up in her brain. I'm sure I'll hear about it in therapy soon.

It's also funny trying to watch her figure out what's going on with the holidays. She believes in Santa and the Angel Lady and all of that fun stuff, but has a lot of questions about how they show up - like how did the Angel Lady get to Mimi's house last week? Does she sing while she flies? How did St. Nicolas get in? He came in through the window, probably. I feel like I have to be really careful because one slip, and she's going to pounce on it. Too smart for her own good, that kid!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Parties for Everyone!

Sometimes, the stars align and we get to ditch our kids and go have wonderful adult time AND the kids are so busy having fun of their own that they hardly notice we're gone. Last night was Tim's company holiday party and also Winterfest in Yorba Linda. Mimi and Pa generously offered to not only take the kids to play at Winterfest but also keep both of them overnight, so that Tim and I could go party like childless rock stars.

It was funny because Ellie didn't realize we also had a hot date - all she's been talking about is Winterfest. And yesterday morning I started teasing her, saying that she couldn't go and stay over with Mimi because I'd miss her too much and she got all serious and looked in my face and said "mommy. Sometimes I just have to go spend time with my grandparents. Just like sometimes you have to go spend time with your girlfriends!" Winterfest had food, hot cocoa, pony rides, a petting zoo, a hayride AND snow. The kids had a great time playing and petting and riding and basically living in a winter wonderland.

In the meanwhile, Tim and I got a hotel in Anaheim so that we could get as drunk as we wanted at the Disneyland Hotel. Also, a few weeks ago I was farting around at the mall and bought an insane sequined dress because I sent Tim a picture of it and said "if we renewed our vows, this is what I would want to wear" and he told me to get it. Thankfully, the party is one where if you want to wear a floor length sequined dress, you can do it and no one thinks you are loon (or rather, they do think you're a loon, but also appreciate your moxie.)

Dress fancily, we ate, we drank, we danced, we chatted with everyone, and I convinced Tim to hold his coworkers like babies, which is always my favorite. Everyone loves when a giant sized man holds an average sized man in his arms!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


"Mommy, I don't have very good yawns. Because when I yawn, my mouth wants to drool. Don't do that, mouth!"

"Oh look, there's Lulu! Daddy, cats are free spirits!"

"Mommy! Can I tell you something? I have a great idea! We could have a Christmas party in here, and dance to THE BEST CHRISTMAS SONG EVER. That one you played the other day!"

Monday, December 1, 2014

Boogerhead Fred.

Well, our run of good health with the kids has come to an end - I had to make my first sick baby visit today and take Adam in because his runny nose and smokers cough had gotten a little more extreme than I was comfortable with. He actually coughed so hard that he threw up on himself. Thankfully, it's nothing major - a little ear infection and a bad cold that was caught before it migrated into anything else. The doc wrote him a script for some antibiotics, which I picked up tonight while watching some high as a kite 20 year old boys try to score pain pills. Nice work gentleman, I appreciate having to wait in line behind you.

The big bummer is that Adam had to miss the Christmas train tonight. Judd is missing it too, so it's just the three girls and their dads (and Sara Jo, making sure everyone stays on track.) Hopefully Ellie will have a fun time!

We got our tree on Saturday afternoon (after trying to go on Friday and being told that the trees weren't out yet. Much sobbing ensued from my small friend.) There was less sobbing during decorating time. Adam has been remarkably good about not tearing things down. Thor has already eaten a bunch of pine needles and thrown them up everywhere. Ellie has already broken an ornament. Business as usual! She also told me that her stocking is actually the one mom made for me. I will switch with her, I guess.

Playing with Grandma Pat's nativity

Our Thanksgiving was nice! We went over to Cathy's for apps and snacks and lots of family time, and managed to leave in a timely manner and make it to Jan's in time to help get things set up for supper. The food was great in both places, and the company was too. My favorite moment was when Ellie streaked through Jan's kitchen on her way to bath time, and I rat tailed her right in the cheeks with a dishtowel. Tomfoolery! Hijinks! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

More Little Moments.

I swear. I should change Adam's middle name to Danger. Today I found him with my toothpaste in the living room. He had the top off of the tube and was ready to squeeze some onto his tooth brush. Saved that in the nick of time! (the kid loves brushing his teeth.) Then at lunch with the ladies, Gigi looks over and in the pile of rocks along the side of the patio, he's found two thumb tacks from the notice board, and is bringing them towards his face. That kid!

He does crack me up though. When I ask, "Adam, do you want to help me?" no matter what time of day it is, he runs over to the kitchen drawers and starts to pull out my coffee grinder, since every morning he insists that I hold him so he can "help" me while I make coffee (one armed, French press coffee. The best the world can offer!) Even when yesterday I specifically asked "do you want to help me vacuum?" Vacuum, coffee, practically the same thing at 11am.

Monday we went to the aquarium for the morning, to meet up with my friend and former boss Anja and her two kiddos. GG is ten and was such a good little helper with Ellie, and Edwards is eight and hilarious. The aquarium was much less crowded than when we went in the spring for Ellie's field trip, so we really got a chance to check out all of the tanks and actually learn a little something. We arrived just as the divers were feeding the fish in the big tank, so that was pretty awesome. And this time around, Ellie was brave enough to touch all of the animals in the touch pools. I let Adam touch the jellyfish, but he quickly proved that even with only using his pointer finger, he does not really have gentle hands (he was practically shoving the jellyfish around.)

Tuesday Ellie went to school for her Thanksgiving feast, corn muffins in tow. I'm glad her teacher knows that if something needs to be baked, we'll bake it! And this morning she was so happy to help me roll out pie crusts and make pecan pies, which are far superior to pumpkin, and the only pie worthy of love this, or any holiday season.

Our other big fun was Sunday night, Ellie's first viewing of the Wizard of Oz.

I haven't seen the whole movie in years and years, and so it was so fun to see it again, and see it through Ellie's eyes. She said she didn't like it initially, because she didn't like the mean witch, but in the days following has said that she DID like it. Her main question was how the Wicked Witch could be a girl if she didn't have eyelashes. Perhaps someday she will learn to love Dorothy as much as she loves Elsa.

Lastly, a picture of Adam and his skinny guy problem. Long legs, not enough butt to keep his pants up.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Once More Into the Breach.

Dear friends, it has started again, down the path of home renovation. Glen came over this week to do a walk through and an examination of our bathrooms, which we will be ripping to the studs and rebuilding. I will save the before pictures for another day, but suffice to say, it's going to be an improvement. We'll bring those bathrooms right into the 21st century! Glen is such a character - he's so chatty and so goofy, but he takes care of us. He said since the spaces are so small (compared to the giant, high end houses he usually works on) that he has a lot of remnant tile we could use. Today I went and picked out granite pieces for the guest bathroom and the fireplace (we'll redo the brick. You know, because once you start one project you find a million things to add on!) But he's got an idea for the master bathroom and has basically told me to put all of my own ideas on hold. Fine Glen, you're the boss! I just write the checks around here! And also, I'll always skip writing a check if I can get some free granite out of the deal!

Here are some nuggets of joy from the children:

Ellie came out of her room the other morning in her pink bunny slippers. Adam ran over, said "hop hop!" and then leaned over to kiss them.

Adam is using new words every day. My favorite is that he's learning to say help instead of just screaming in frustration.

Today Ellie told Gig, very seriously "Gigi, I'm afraid I have to tell you something." (DRAMATIC PAUSE) "A tree in our backyard, it has a LEMON." I don't think she quite understands the preface "I'm afraid I have to tell you something." She's actually been using a bunch of weird little phrases lately, like the verbal goofus she is. She is very against people teasing me lately (since I am so easily annoyed) and when Tim was ribbing me the other day she told him "I caught you in the act! You stop it right now!"

Lulu has taken to spending a lot of time sleeping on Ellie's bed, since she got her new Princess blanket. So when nap time rolls around, Lulu and Ellie snuggle for a little while and then I pick Lulu up and take her with me. Ellie has now started requesting that I make Lulu wave at her. Lulu is not pleased.

Adam is really loving peekaboo lately, and it's so cute. Because he doesn't really hide most of the time. The "I closed my eyes so you can't see me" school of toddler though kills me every time.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

We Run the City.

The Bad News Bruins made a triumphant return to the We Run the City 5K on Sunday, to benefit Special Olympics. This year our team was nine members, and we raised close to a thousand dollars. Even though I felt like I hauled some serious ass up and down the hills of Westwood, my time this year was almost identical to my time last year. But as I told Ellie, if you do your best, you're a winner.

I ran with our friend Erlynne, and Tim and the kids walked with our other friends. Ellie ran the entire first mile, and then sulked in the stroller for the rest because she was mad I wasn't with them. Sorry kid, mama's got to do what mama's got to do!

However, she was an absolute trooper the rest of the morning. She walked around campus and all the way into Westwood, chatting to my old roommate Annie the whole time. She waited patiently when it took forty five minutes for our brunch orders to come. And then she ate the rubbery pancakes and subpar eggs! She waited with me to get Diddy Reese cookies and then walked back to the car, showing Annie and Brandon how she can "run on tippy toes" and tried to climb every tree we saw. Then thankfully, slept a bit on the way home. Unfortunately, neither kid thought they needed to continue their naps when we got home. Early bed times for everyone! And by that I mean it's almost 9pm, I need to go to sleep, I'm exhausted.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gruesome Twosome.

These two kids, they are nutty. They are such a pair, even if half the time I feel like I'm pulling Ellie off of Adam because she's hugging him to hard, or telling him that she can't take toys directly out of his hands. But they truly love and adore each other. When we pick Ellie up from school, Adam runs into her classroom and the two of them stand and embrace and kiss each other like they've been trapped on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall for years.

Here they are, happily visiting with Mr. Lizard (aka Midnight) after school.

Here they are, helping their dad fix a busted stroller tire (that's right, we have tools and Tim knows how to use them!)

Oh, and here they are at their artists colony.

Lastly, book club:

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Yesterday was a very, very big day in our house. Tim's new game debuted at Blizzon, which is a big fan festival that his company puts on every year. The tickets are $300 a head and they sell out in minutes, for people who love the Blizzard universe and all of the games. There's no other vendors or games available, just all Blizzard all the time, and people absolutely eat it up, as a chance to see how their sausage is made, and as a way to meet up with people in person who they might only know via the various games. It's loud and crazy and busy, but also with a really communal, family feel, and all of the speakers emphasized that it was about the fans, and it was about being a family. 

So. Tim could hardly sleep the night before, and was out early to go meet up with Jake and get a place in line for the opening ceremonies. I arrived a little later and went to my saved seat, where I was surrounded by nervous developers ready to cry with anticipation. The first part of opening ceremonies was about the games that everyone is already familiar with, and then the Creative Director came out and announced that Blizzard was releasing it's first new intellectual property in seventeen years. And then, cue the cinematic trailer, and the tears from all of the nerds seated around us, watching their baby on screen for the first time. You can see the trailer here.

Apparently during the trailer, the executives back stage were all bawling as well. And all of the guys were pulling off their sweatshirts (or in Tim's case, his polo shirt) to reveal their Overwatch promotional tee shirts. It was like at the end of Apollo 13 - so many nerdy dudes, so much emotion. The thing that really made Tim cry was a picture that Gigi sent of the kids snuggling up with Grizz and watching the live stream of the release.  

Then they announced that the game was not just a concept, not just a trailer, but an actual playable game, and there were 600 monitors in the other hall available for people to go and play right away. It was just unreal to see how happy Tim was to finally see people playing his game, and it was amazing to me too to see this fun, playable, interesting game that came out of all of these people's brains, and was built with their hands (or as Tim likes to call them, his "valuable typing fingers.") I got a chance to sit down and play later in the day, and I am not very good (okay, I'm straight up terrible) but I had a great time. I am unspeakably proud of him, and how much work he's putting into this game. We moved down here so that he'd have the opportunity to work at his dream job, making a brand new, record breaking game, and to see all of that hard work start to come to fruition was beyond fantastic. And because of the intimacy of Blizzard, he got to actually talk to players and talk to fans and get their immediate feedback, which helps lift his spirits, and helps guide the developers as they finish making the game for release to the wider public. 

I can't wait to see what he does next, and I'm so glad I got to be there holding his hand while he watched his baby be born. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Catch Up

I'm sorry, I'm a terrible blogger. We hardly took any pictures on Halloween, and the ones Tim did take also feature his finger on the lens. But the kids had a great time, Ellie perhaps a little moreso than poor tired Adam, who thought he didn't need a nap that day. He spent most of his time in the ergo, but Ellie happily trick or treated, said thank you several times, and then ran back to us screaming that she'd said thank you.

Last weekend was also went to the big bounce house place for a school friend's birthday party, and the rest of the week has been business as usual. And this video is representative of what that business is - those kids love each other so much that when I let Adam go wake Ellie up, it turns into a big snugglefest.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Preview.

Throughout the Halloween season, Ellie has stuck with her goal of being Hello Kitty. I'm surprised she hasn't reverted to Elsa, but as I say, she sort of thinks she IS Elsa, so perhaps the idea of dressing as herself hasn't occurred to her. Meanwhile, I was unsure of what to do with Adam, and then I remembered and more importantly, FOUND Ellie's walrus costume, which I love.

Now the only question is, WHO WORE IT BETTER?

That's Ellie, one year and twelve days old, and Adam, a few days over nineteen months.

Yesterday we went to Tim's office for their trick or treat, which is always so nice. It was less insane this year than in years past, and they'd also gotten food trucks so that if you wanted to make it a full night, you could (we did not.) When we brought Sara home, I had Grizz snap a quick picture of the three of us, because who knows how the evening will go tonight. Best to make hay while the sun shines.

Hello Kitty rocking her new, hand made hat. Also, my mom sent me that candy corn necklace when I was a freshman in college, and I love it so. It's an oldie and a goodie, and reminds me of how sweet my mom was (and is) sending me a little note every week or two.

Tonight we're trick or treating with Lexi and Whitney, so that should be fun. The girls are at a fun age, and we'll see how the boys do. And then I look forward to eating myself sick, since my kids are too little to quantify how much candy they received versus how much candy actually exists during the month of November.

Also, yesterday we had Ellie's four year old check up. She did really well during the actual appointment, and clocks in at 90% for weight and height (42 pounds, 41 inches) but uff, then it was quite the show trying to get everyone immunized for the season. Adam was tired and got a flu shot, and then Ellie got the flu mist (which is more effective but can also have more side effects) plus two boosters. She screamed like she was being murdered. Plus our appointment took almost an hour because the office was nutty, so I felt near the end of my rope, trying to keep both kids from ruining the exam room. Fun for everyone! But the good news is they're healthy kids, so what more could you want?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hole in the Head.

Over the past week, Ellie has been repeatedly asking me to take her to get her ears pierced. She's done this before, but when I remind her that it's going to hurt like getting a shot, she usually backs off. Not this week - she keeps telling me she's going to be brave and she wants to do it.

So we did. And she screamed like a banshee and cried when they cleaned them afterwards, but now she's very pleased and proud.

It's funny because I feel like ear piercing is one of those things that can be contentious. There's a lot of talk about what the right age is, and there's also a lot of cultures where girls get their ears pierced as babies, and so it just depends on how the parents feel. I personally don't think doing it at four is a big deal (obviously) and while people have said that now I have to help her clean her ears, I have to help her in a lot of ways in this life, and adding cleaning her ears to making sure she goes potty and brushes her teeth and lets me comb the rats nests out of her hair... it's just one more thing in the litany of things we do. Basically it comes down to the fact that if she wants to have jewelry. I'll help her make that happen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Little Friends.

Friday afternoon the kids woke up early from their nap, despite being exhausted. It was so helpful of them! But instead of smothering them, I took them to the petting zoo for the last hour of its operation. Adam is finally big enough to really enjoy the place, especially when everyone gets their own binny pig to pet.

And he's big enough to really enjoy the new, improved playground equipment.

Ellie stayed at Mimi's house on Saturday night, and Tim and I were amazed how easy Sunday felt with only one baby. There was very little bickering. No one fought over toys. He took a long nap and we just farted around and watched football. Plus we took him to the groomer and got his fur trimmed.

Meanwhile, Hello Kitty had a wonderful time at Ghouleyfest in Mimi's neighborhood. Tim forgot to leave a pair of shoes for her, but Mimi came to the rescue with some great shoes that perfectly matched her costume.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Party Pictures!

I got a chance to upload all of the pictures from the weekend, so here's a big photo dump for you!

Dirt cake! And a bowl of bonus worms.

With some of her Frozen swag on Saturday morning. She is very hard to shop for.

Our favorite four year olds at the zoo


Watching the gorillas inspired her to deal with Tim's lice

After seeing all the animals, she still wanted to ride the bunny

Buying Hello Kitty after school yesterday

Jumping for joy in her new "winter" Elsa dress from Mimi and Poppy

We made a giant cupcake together, which she decorated to look just like the North Mountain from Frozen. It is also pale blue inside.

The kids with Mimi and Poppy

Coming soon to a Christmas card near you!

We are a nice, normal family

Monday, October 20, 2014


So hard to believe that our little lady turned FOUR yesterday! The time truly has gone quickly, even if at times I didn't think I'd survive along the way. 

Her big birthday present from us was rollerskates and a new helmet (when making the decision between a helmet for 3-5 year olds or 5+ at Target, I decided on 5+, and it was a good choice. MELONHEAD!) She wanted to put them on the second she got them unwrapped.

She's going slow, but she's getting it. This morning she also wanted to skate as soon as she got up. 

We spent her birthday with her bestie at the Wild Animal Park in San Diego. We got to see some different stuff from last year, including the new tiger exhibit, and the gorillas, and enjoyed the tram and the cheetah run for a second time. 

Ellie did not enjoy being asked to pose for a picture though.
The poor boys were also wiped. 

It was a fun afternoon, and then we also stopped for pizza together. Exhausting, but good. 

Friday night we celebrated with Gigi and Grizz and Sara, and also the neighbors, who I invited over after Adam wandered over to sweep their drive way and yell at their dogs. The more the merrier where dirt cake is involved! And tonight Mimi and Pa and Jake and Dawn are coming over for one more celebration. The wonderful birthday that doesn't end!

I continue to be impressed with how sweet Ellie is, and how grown up she's getting. On Friday before we left she went over and thanked Gigi for having a party for her. She is such a darling big sister (90% of the time.) She's smart as a whip - learning to write her name, learning to identify letters and their sounds, able to count to 100, I love watching her figure out the world around her and put the pieces together. I love her crazy imagination, and I love her goofy sense of humor. She's our best girl, forever and ever. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Growing Up.

It's crazy how much the kids are changing every day. Adam is really starting to pick up in the chatting department. He regularly signs for "more" and "please." (In the middle of the night at Grandma's, he started patting me on the chest like he wanted to nurse, then sat back and signed "more" and I made him say please before I'd feed him.) He says up/uppy when he wants to be held, and takes after his mom in hollering "stop!" when he doesn't like how things are going. Unlike Ellie, who said Sara and Grizz pretty much right off the bat, those are the only family names he refuses to say. He can ask for the fruit he wants, including peaches and pears, and is good at saying cheese, both for photos, and for an actual string cheese. Animal sounds include cat, dog, sheep, and a long MOOOOOO like the Sconnie that he is. He's reached that point where he clearly understands everything we're saying to him, but chooses if he wants to talk to us or listen to us, the little turd. Becca was amazed at him during the wedding reception, and his fearlessness when it came to just running off down the hall. That's why I was so scared to take him on the plane! His only hobbies are being busy and getting into things! Thank goodness he was so entranced with Grizz during the flight.

Ellie meanwhile, is turning into a real little kid. She loves getting herself into the car and buckled most of the way into her seat. She picks out all of her own clothes and shoes and lets me know how I may style her hair for the day. She can give the cats treats and is extremely good with them. She's the best baking assistant a mom could ask for, and is also my #1 towel folder during laundry parties. And check out the drawing she did on a card today!

The one on the bottom has eyelashes because it's a girl, obviously.

Here are my riders during our mid-morning grocery trip. They are both extremely jet lagged, tired and miserable today, so we got the big car cart and I bribed them with a smoothie to keep them quiet (also, it doubles as a healthy lunch!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It Takes a Village.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig! We had such a nice week in Wisconsin. Lots of good family time, and of course, the wonderful wedding. I'm glad we stayed as long as we did, though I was definitely getting worn out from Adam's refusal to sleep, and glad to see Tim last night at the airport. And then Adam went and slept 8 straight hours. He just needed to be back in his own bed, much like the rest of us. Thank goodness Gigi was around during the week to put him down a few times when he was so tired that he wouldn't accept me trying to get him in bed.

I'm so lucky to have such a great family. At every turn, they were helping me out with the kids - coming over so I could nap, making sure the fridge was stocked and the beds were made before we arrived, and on the flight home yesterday, Adam wanted to sit with Grizz and so the two of them snuggled up for half the flight, leaving me alone to read and even nap a little. Such a relief!

Even Uncle Emery got in on the helping!

The funny part was that there was a sign on the club house that said "kids only."

Sara and I with the kids at Grandpa Howie's bench

Adam, on the way out of town