Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Melonhead Convention.

Well. We are reaching the final week of Gigi and Grizz's trip. WE DON'T MISS THEM AT ALL. Though in all seriousness, the two weeks have gone better than I anticipated. I figured I would have at least one day where I was sobbing for relief by 5pm, but that has not been the case. I can say though, that I will never turn to Ellie and say "I hope you end up with a kid just like yourself," because no one deserves a child who talks at them for fifteen straight hours. I don't want to hang out with my grandkids if they're as chatty as their mom. Nope.

Mom and Dad report that the wedding was great, and they stayed out dancing until 4am. Here is a shot of Paul and Louise with all of their nieces (and one wee nephew.)

In the meanwhile, we went to the concert in the park again on Sunday night and had a great time. There was a lady selling "hand decorated" hula hoops, and while we did not buy a $20 piece of plastic with colored masking tape on it, we did use the free samples to get some good hooping done.

Yesterday afternoon we went to Target and bought Ellie some googles for swim lesson. As you can see, she has put them to good use. Turns out, both kids really enjoy getting sprayed with the hose. Adam was running around with his slightly too-large trunks exposing his crack, absolutely screaming at me to douse him.

Today though, FINALLY, we got some new fun visitors. Lisa, Kate and Olivia arrived around lunch time after a mostly good flight from Chicago. The gals are going to keep Sara company until mom and dad get home, and then we'll all have some family fun for a few days while Gigi and Grizz recover from their jet lag. My kids are absolutely NUTS about their cousin. She was asleep when they came in, and Adam went over and stared at her in the bucket seat and quietly chatted at her. Ellie kept begging to hold her and followed her all over the house (Olivia Newton Jane is just learning to crawl.) There was much playing of blocks and squibbies and just cute baby time. Ellie was especially glad that Olivia no longer spits up, and seems tolerant of the excessive drooling. Right now everyone is napping, but we look forward to reuniting for Taco Tuesday. It's a small thing we can do to make up for the absence of all grandparents (Ellie was SO mad that we weren't spending the morning with Mimi, who is in Seattle. Only the promise of Olivia snapped her out of her funk.)

Bigheaded lunch party!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sons of Westwood.

Mila (six months and six days), Ellie (three and a half), Lucas (two and a half) and Adam (sixteen months and one day.)

These Baby Bruins, I just can't get enough. After everyone left, Tim said "I could do this every weekend." Me too.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Our Little Village

Well, all of the grandparents have abandoned us, Tim is working a lot and Sara also apparently has a job that requires her attention, but at least we have our little village of friends!

Yesterday during nap time Sara stayed with the kiddos, and I snuck out with a plate of cookies so that I could meet the newest member of our village, Clare's new baby brother Owen. He is so tiny and sweet beyond words, and I was so grateful to snuggle him and check in on my friend. Cara looks great, and I look forward to coming over soon to do more baby snuggling, and to show her how to use the Moby wrap. I swear, it's the only way any of us have gotten around with two babies.

After nap time Nicole came over with Jackson (just turned 3) and Jameson (just turned 3 months.) Jameson is a chunky, chunky monkey, and he enjoyed snuggling with Sara and farting on her arm. It's funny that all of the second set of siblings have been boys, and that Juddy and Adam are within a few months of each other, and now Owen and Jameson. Friends for everyone!

Our friend Monica was in town from Oregon, and so a bunch of us "original Mommy Matters" girls got together for an hour or so before supper time. The kids are getting so big! Tre will be FOUR next month, and now everyone is a big sibling.

Ellie was a little disappointed that she was the only girl, but then she saw the baby girls and everything was better. She really enjoys for me to sit with a baby on my legs and sing to them.

This morning we got in a quick run and then picked up Sara (ON TIME YOU GUYS, I WAS ON TIME!) and dropped her off at work. Ellie was very disgusted that I didn't shower before I went to get Sara, and Sara did not take me up on my offer to smell my armpit. I like to say it's not sweat. That's just my fat crying.

And then Lexi and Judd and Whitney came over for some lunch, and some time spent running around the house at top speed screaming at top volume! A basically perfect life.

But in all seriousness - last night Adam fell asleep while I was nursing him and I held him for a few minutes, thinking of how big he is and how quickly the time has gone. And how I'm glad that I have friends who will let me come and snuggle their sweet newlyborns every now and again. And how grateful I am that I have two beautiful, smart, funny, healthy children. And especially, that when we moved into our house I had no friends in Orange County and no friends with kids, and now we have a million friends and loved ones to spend all of this time with. It's such a gift, getting to watch all of them grow up together.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sixteen Months.

Today was Adam's fifteen month well baby appointment... the day before he turned 16 months! (he's already been in once before since turning one, to catch up on shots.) He's 32 inches long (75th percentile) and almost 22 pounds (25th percentile.) Head in the 90th. SURPRISE. I guess that settles the question of who's the father! The doctor pronounced him right on track for all of the milestones, and confirmed that yes, it's normal for him to be so ding dang naughty.

This morning he had a nuclear melt down when I wouldn't let him eat Ellie's hair bands, or smack her with a hair brush. And as I watched him scream and leak snot and tears everywhere I thought to myself "[swear swear swear redacted] this is the terrible twos. They start before two, and they're starting now." I remember this with Ellie - two wasn't THAT bad. Eighteen months was terrible because she couldn't talk as much, but she definitely had wants and desires and the lung capacity to ruin my life if I didn't give them to her. And it's not like having an infant where I could give him something to distract him. There was nothing he wanted but to eat hair bands and brain his sister. I know, I am a mean, mean, mommy. The doctor (who has two young kids) joked that 15-18 months is her least favorite time. I suspect it might be mine as well.

But otherwise, he's a pretty good little dude. She confirmed that he's right on track with the talking, and was impressed that he can feed himself with a fork. How different my kids are - Ellie was stringing a few words together at a time by now, but she didn't master a fork until she was almost two. They are each wonderful and lovable and horrible in their own ways!

This afternoon we're having some friends over to hang out. Lots of kiddos expected, so this time I am getting smart and stripping Ellie's room. Last time the little tornadoes dumped out absolutely EVERYTHING. They didn't play with their items, they just threw blocks and plastic food and stuffed animals all over the house. Wont' be making that mistake again!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Concert Recap

We had a nice time at our concert in the park on Sunday night. I mean, the music was kind of meh. The band was fine, but Journey sucks, so hearing a Journey cover band doesn't really light my fire. I'm holding out for ABBA night later in the summer.

The kids had a great time though. It was pointed out to me that Ellie looked like she was ready to go to Coachella in her little halter dress, sunglasses and wild curls, and once that was said, I couldn't unsee it. Meanwhile, Adam was dressed like a grandpa in his little bucket hat and his man leggings. My little goofballs.

It's nice to see Adam and Judd finally hitting it off with one another. Poor second children - they just don't get the same kind of attention so a lot of times it seems like they're just in ergos together. Or maybe it's their manliness, that they don't feel the need to constantly hold hands like their sisters.

We let the girls ride in one seat together on the shuttle bus back to our cars, and they were so thrilled with being allowed to be grown ups. So of course, they spent the whole ride screaming "WHAT? CHICKEN BUTT!" Tim taught Ellie that. We are all thankful for his education efforts. On Sunday night, Ellie told me that the bus ride was her favorite part of the weekend. Once again, how nice to be able to make a child's dreams come true. All of that activity, and the free bus ride was the best part.

We are holding up okay without Gigi and Grizz. Sara stayed over night here last night so she could get to her volunteer job in the morning, and Ellie thought that was pretty great. Mimi and Ellie went to the library today and had a great time, but now Mimi and Pa are going out of town for a wedding. And Tim worked late night. If it weren't for Sara, we would be dying of boredom around here. She is a life saver and such a sweet, sweet auntie. And she didn't ABANDON ME to raise my children alone like the rest of those hosers.

But, it looks like Gigi and Grizz are having a good time.

Maybe too good of a time?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Boring Weekend.

Just kidding! Another weekend cram packed with fun! We are surviving okay with Gigi and Grizz having abandoned us for Germany and France. Ellie was awake when I took Gigi and Grizz to the airport on Thursday morning, and she reassured them that she wouldn't sell their house while they're gone (I make no such promises.)

Because they were gone, there was no pizza and ice cream on Friday. Instead, I had to take them to the park. BOOORING.

Just kidding again, they loved it. There was much climbing and scooping and petting of dogs. Adam took off yelling with joy after a sweet yellow lab.

Saturday morning we went for a walk and hit up a couple of garage sales. Check out the sweet musical instrument we secured for the low price of only one dollar!
There was much dinging and donging over the next few miles. And fighting over sticks.

Then while Adam napped, Ellie, Sara and I went down to San Juan for petting zoo fun

They got a new play ground structure at the petting zoo!

And a fantastic lunch at El Maguey

We spent our evening hanging out with Auntie Sara and the kitties. There was pizza, racing of matchbox cars and general tomfoolery.

This morning we went to meet Mimi and Pa at the Orange County Fair. We were there early, which was great because we got in for $3 and the crowds weren't too terrible. It was still boiling within minutes. The biggest downside was that we can in through the wrong gate and were around all the adult rides. Tim and I went on the tiltawhirl and Ellie had a full scale melt down because she was too small for it, and for a lot of the other rides nearby. Poor thing was hot and tired and miserable about it, but also so weepy that I was irritated and ready to pack up the whole crew. Thankfully we found the kiddie area shortly thereafter (after much walking and visiting of large smelly barnyard animals.) Once Ellie got to ride some rides, she was ready to calm down and have some lunch of fried things. The best by far was the pickles wrapped in bacon and deep fried. Highly recommend. The bacon corn dogs, not as delicious. Ellie got on a few more rides after that, and we bought her a little cup of chocolate ice cream, and then headed back across the fair grounds to our car. We stopped to do the old school photo booth photos - you can see what happened to Adam on the way. Now we're just relaxing while they nap, and preparing to do the concert in the park with our friends tonight. Never a dull moment! (except when it's so dull that I want to lay down and fall asleep in the yard. Ah, parenting.)

Ah the line to get in. It's my favorite ride!

Sorry little girl, no tiltawhirl time for you! Better luck next year!

(throwback to 2006, which was the last time Tim and I were at the Fair. We were celebrating our first anniversary!)

Balloon ride!

Bee ride!

Adam's only ride... sitting on Pa

On our way out. Poor tired little nugget.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gigi to the Rescue.

Oh today, what a funny day. As with all days, we had to go for a run. My usual track takes me about an hour and a half - I run between three and four miles and walk another mile or so up and down the bigger hills. Today it took almost two hours because we ran into our favorite dog friends and had to stop and say hello. It's this older couple who have always been SO sweet to me and my kids. When I would walk with tiny infant Ellie they would encourage me, they were so excited when I was pregnant, and they were thrilled to meet Adam. They always stop and say hello and they have two cute little dogs, Annie and Bebe that Ellie is allowed to stop and pet (I have to make rules about which dogs we pet, otherwise it'd take us six hours to finish our walk.) Ellie loves Annie more than any other dog, because she is a teeny teeny tiny terrier. The sad news today was learning that Annie went to puppy heaven from heart problems recently. But we still had a nice ten minutes talking with them and petting Bebe and her pal Rosie (who belongs to the man that I think of as "the Ambassador of Dogs." Because I know the names of all the pups but none of the parents.) We got to the far end of the trail and had just started to turn around when Ellie goes "MOMMY! Did you hear me? I HAVE TO GO POTTY SO BAD!" Thank goodness we were near civilization and were able to scoot into a coffee shop. Ellie whined about me touching her with my "sweaty" but she didn't have any dang shoes on! Someone had to do the heavy lifting!

We made it home without further incident, and then I flipped up the box on our garage door to punch in the code and open it. Aaaaaaaand discovered that the power was out. Now, do I carry my keys in my stroller? I do not. Of course I don't. Do we have a key hidden? Of course not, we have a garage code! Am I an idiot? OF COURSE I AM. Thank goodness Gigi doesn't leave for her trip until tomorrow, because she was able to scoot over and let us into our very own house. And she even brought us lunch! She is so nice.

Once we got all cleaned up, the kids and I went to the hardware store, where I finally purchased a cabinet lock to ruin Adam's life. Sorry kid, no more trying to drink Pledge for you! I cannot emphasize how naughty he is. He is relentless in his pursuit of things that are not meant for babies, and unlike Ellie, who came to actually understand and stop going for electronics and power tools and poison, Adam is completely undaunted and without hesitation. I feel like I can't turn my back on him for a second, and if I can't find something around the house, the FIRST thing I do is go and look in his diaper pail, because he loves to toss things down with his diapers.

Example: while we were farting around in the back yard waiting for Gigi, he came around the side of the house, having found a peach that fell off the tree. He was going to TOWN on it.

Thankfully it wasn't rotten or covered in bugs, or if it was, he ate the rotted parts and insects before I got to him and was grossed out. Our unstoppable Adam.

And in case you are wondering, I have now hidden a key for myself. Now don't try to come find it and break in, or I will be very upset!

Gigi also saved the day yesterday by allowing us to conscript her into baby sitting one more time before her trip. Don and Eileen treated us to a really lovely meal in honor of Jake's birthday (he and Dawn came too.) During the planning stages, Eileen asked if I wanted to bring the kids out to a restaurant, and my return text was something along the lines of "I don't want to bring my kids to a restaurant basically ever. The best I can offer is twenty minutes at conveyor belt sushi." I mean, I don't want to be the person who makes every family event about my kids and what they can and can't do, but allowances must be made. They wouldn't have lasted ten minutes in the nice steak house, and if Jake wants steak for his birthday, he should get that, instead of receiving the booby prize of watching me storm out of a restaurant, dragging a screaming child by the arm for bad behavior. Plus, sometimes I enjoy having an adult evening out, enjoying a cocktail and some good conversation with my family. Jake did like the card that Ellie picked out for him, and all the pictures she scribbled with her intensely scented markers. I love letting Ellie pick out her own greeting cards because she can't read and so gets the goofiest things. Tim got a farting dog card for Father's Day, and Jake's card had a puppy on it and said "happy birthday cutie pie" inside. Just what every uncle wants!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Oh Crazy Babies.

Another busy couple of days! Friday we started our swim lessons in Kristen's pool, with a private instructor. Originally, they wanted to do all three girls together, and then a private lesson for each of the boys. Judd has done some mommy and me swim lessons and did well, but poor Adam had no idea what was going on AND was exhausted, so he sobbed until I got in the water with him, and then continued to cry until I cut it off early. The instructor advised that moving forward Whitney have her own lesson, Lexi and Ellie do a duo lesson, and that Adam and Judd can do a mommy and me splash time. That should work much better. The nice thing is that Kristen's pool is gated off from the rest of the back yard and there's lot of toys back there, so it's easy to keep the kids entertained and safe when they're not having their lesson. Much easier than trying to manage Adam and Ellie at the Y.

Then Ellie was back in the pool after her nap with the Grizz. Thursday and Friday were both two swim days for her. Saturday, only the one long swim, and then yesterday we dropped the kids off with Mimi and Pa and they had a pool party at the rec center, and Tim and I went to a pool party hosted by one of his coworker friends (also in Yorba Linda.) Everyone got to swim! Mimi and Pa were very impressed with Ellie's new splashing skills.

Here's our little crew on Saturday. This is the brief moment when Adam wasn't whining. He's not as much of a water baby as Ellie was. He's no bearducken, certainly. In fact, he's naked in that intertub. I feel lucky that he hasn't peed on me yet (as far as I know.)

Here's how I found Ellie on Thursday at 4pm. We'd gone over to swim at Gigi's right after school, and she begged to nap there. Conked out like someone had slipped a sleeping pill in her grilled cheese.

This morning I picked her up early from school so that we could have a lovely lunch with Cara and Clare. Clare is going to be a big sister in the next few weeks, and so I took the opportunity to unload all of my baby gear on Cara, who had borrowed most of her baby stuff the first time around and was without the necessities, like a swing and a play mat and an exersaucer. All of that stuff that you NEED but then only use for two months, but yet during those two months, that piece of motorized plastic is your best friend in the entire universe. It's bittersweet to give all of those things away and know that it's the end of our baby era, but I know they're going to a good home, and I love seeing how big and fun and funny my sweet baby boy is becoming.

Also, naughty. MAN that kid is naughty. Observe:
Nothing is safe from him. Now that he can climb on the couch he climbs up, grabs Tim's phone and swipes it open. He also likes to stand on the couch to reach all of the electronics that we have sitting on the table behind it. Soon we're going to put everything behind the baby gate with the TV. And he knows he's being devilish because he laughs like crazy when you catch him in the act.

He's also dropping down to one nap a day, which is working out mostly okay. His morning nap always seemed to be interrupted by something - I'd wake him up to go get Ellie from school, or she'd wake him up banging around the house, and sometimes his afternoon naps go so late that Ellie misses out on doing things until 5pm or later, which is no fun for her. I am mostly hoping that he can stay awake until 1pm, so that I can put them down at the same time and get a few hours of quiet to myself. Ellie still takes a good nap most days, but it takes her forever to settle down. She likes to get up and make a big production about having to go to the bathroom (and then pee four drops of pee) or she'll change her clothes, or put on some sort of long theatrical production with her stuffed animal friends. But she ultimately still needs an hour or so of snoozetime a day. I don't know what I'll do when she quits napping. Probably cry (because then how will I get chores done while also watching horrible reality TV?)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Our Sweet Boy.

This kid is such a sweet heart. Such a little papa to his baby. Not only does he walk around cuddling his lamb most of the time, but today we watched him curl up in the rocker and rock his baby, give her a bottle (which causes her to make a bunch of noise, which he enjoys and we do not) and then he put the baby to his shoulder and patted her back. It is just heart breakingly sweet. Ample evidence of what a good daddy he has.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Swim Season.

Grizz's pool is open!

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Fourth.

I know, more terrible blogging behavior! I haven't been taking tons of pictures lately, so I guess I feel like there's not much to say. And we've mostly been hanging out, doing our things. Ellie had a couple of days last week where she was acting three going on thirteen with her attitude and her sassy mouth. I was pretty sure that she was hoping to be banished to her room FOREVER, because that's the only thing I could think to do.

Meanwhile, Adam is as naughty as ever. He gets away with it because he's less shrieky than Ellie was, and he has such a cute smile when you catch him, but he is definitely the more devious of the two. One afternoon I put him down for a nap, and then when he didn't quiet down I went in to check on him. He had thrown his lamby out of his bed, pooped his pants, and then laid down on his belly on one side of the crib so that he could open his wipes container (which is on the floor next to the bed) and then taken the dozen or so wipes he'd yanked and threw them onto the floor on the other side of the crib. When I opened up the door and discovered his mess, he just laughed at me. He loves to take our phones and when we chase after him, he sort of shrugs up his shoulders, giggles and tries to break into a run. He's also discovered the monkey game app on Grizz's ipad, and gets very excited about it (gives me hope than when we go to Wisconsin in October. And by we, I mean I am flying into Wisconsin by myself with the two kids.)

We had a really nice Fourth. I realized this year that if I can't be in Door County, being at my house and having a party with our friends is a pretty great substitute. Being in our tiny apartment in LA with no BBQ, no sparklers, no fireworks (other than the illegal ones that jerks in our neighborhood would set off at all hours for the week around the Fourth) was depressing, but being in our house is pretty great. We had a big group of Tim's coworkers and friends as usual and tons of food. Ellie was initially freaked by the sparklers (she informed us that "last day" she touched one and burned herself - she remembers her accident a year ago) but she got into it pretty fast.

She had an especially great time playing with Uncle Jake and Auntie Dawn as the sun went down, and that was incredibly sweet to see. Once it got really dark, we went outside and shot off a bunch of stuff in the drive way. You can't get anything that goes airborne, but the legal fireworks were pretty great. And like idiots, we let Jake be in charge of lighting everything, in his bare feet. Because you know, if he gets hurt, it's not like four other people at the party haven't invested a couple thousand dollars into seeing him compete in the Ironman! Should have made someone less athletic take over. Ellie liked the fireworks this year, and I put Adam down at 7:30pm and he slept straight through until 8 the next morning.

We spent the rest of the weekend swimming. Saturday afternoon we went over and had a nice float in our neighbor's pool, and then brought our leftover brats and party potatoes over to Gigi and Grizz's, where Ellie and Grizz had their first swim in the big pool for the summer. Then yesterday we spent the afternoon swimming in the community lagoon for Sara Jo's birthday. Ellie is our big swimmy fish, that's for sure! This week we're starting semi-private swim lessons at Kristen's pool with all the girls (and the boys as well, Adam's first lessons!)

So that's where we are. Just trying to stay cool, and not too chlorinated.