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

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Kari Bear is Married!

Nothing beats a good ol' family wedding! We had such a lovely day yesterday. Kari was such a beautiful bride, and while she and Bennett were at the altar you could just see the love radiating between them. He is such a good guy - I like to say that Bennett is so nice, he makes Tim look like a jerk. I think we were all a little sad that Grandpa wasn't here to share this moment with us, but Auntie B, Sara and I took up the responsibility of being weepy babies at the wedding for his sake. Kari carried his wedding ring pinned to her bouquet, I wore a Boy Scout medal on my sweater, and John had on his dog tags. We made sure to send plenty of love his way (and I know he was sending some love back down to us.)

My girlfriend Becca flew in to stay with the kids, who napped all through the ceremony. The unfortunately missed the Thiel family picture, where I joked that we should hold Kari like a baby (meaning she would be held flat, with each of us having a hand under her) and John just picked her up in his arms. Hopefully the photo comes out cute! We may be the smallest family group, but we're pretty great. During the reception they said that they weren't going to kiss if you clink glasses - if you wanted the bride and groom to kiss, you had to sing a song with the word love in it. So of course, our table immediately launched into a loud rendition of L.O.V.E. And then later, Ellie got the mic and led us all in a version of You Are My Sunshine.

Adam had to go to bed before the dancing really started, but man, Ellie held her own on that dance floor. Betty had found an Easter dress that Grandma made for Kari (Sara and I also had matching ones - I have Sara's at home) and Ellie insisted on wearing it to the wedding. With her cowgirl boots, also. I got Grizz to come out and polka with me, and when Ellie saw he was dancing, she immediately conscripted her into service as her personal attendant and dance slave for the evening. During the first slow song, she asked me if we had to stop dancing and I told her no, it was a slow song, so dance with someone you love. She immediately told me to go away so she could dance with Grizz, and she wanted to dance close, like big people. No hand holding for her, so she put her hand around his back, as a grown up woman might do to her date. Except, she is not full grown, so rather than putting her hand on his shoulder, she kept it on his butt. FRESH! She also told Gigi and Sara to go away too. ONLY DANCING WITH GRIZZ, unless dancing with Hailee. It was pretty hilarious. During the slow song too, she also informed me to go dance with Grandma Rosie, so Grams and I had a nice moment, slow dancing together while her boys slow danced with their granddaughters.

How cute are they? (that's John with a sliver of Hailee in the background.)

Such a fun party! Lots of country songs, some good oldies, and a lot of fun. I especially loved dancing to All About the Bass with mom and Sara.

We put Ellie in bed around 10:15. Adam was then up (and awake) by 5:30, so he and I went down to the lobby and watched Dinosaur Train, and had some continental breakfast at 6am. Thankfully, he went back down around 6:30. He's been so grumpy and a little sick, plus he hates the fun cage, so I let him fall asleep on me, and then sort of plunked him between Becca and I in the bed. She woke up at 8:15 to him inches from her face, saying "hi!" and then he came over and did the same for me. We had a delicious second breakfast, and then the kids went swimming with Grizz while Bec and I cleaned up the room. Now both kids are happily, desperately napping. Beforehand though, Becca and I took Ellie to the Sweet Shop for a milkshake, as a reward for her being such a good girl while we were traveling here. And because who doesn't love the Sweet Shop?

Meanwhile, on the other end of the country, Jacob had a great day at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, coming in at 10 hours, 5 minutes. He's really pleased with his time, and Tim says they're all feeling good today. Thumbs up!

I stole this picture from facebook - that lovely smiling blonde is his fiancee, Dawn.

All in all, a successful October Saturday for all members of our families.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

we made it!

We made it to La Crosse last night, safe and sound. The kids were perfect travelers. So g!ad I spent so much time fretting about the trip. Good use of energy.

We had three seats with extra legroom, and Adam spent a lot of time standing or playing on the floor. Ellie sat quietly watching movies or coloring. Even with the nintey minute delay (sitting at the gate) they hung tough. We had time to get a happy meal in Chicago and then the kids ran around the seating area. Adam found fries he'd dropped and ate them off the floor before I could stop him. Now he has diseases. Ellie spent the flight into La Crosse coloring, and Adam whined until he fell asleep.

It was so nice to see Gigi and Grizz and Sara at the airport. And the terminal is so small that while I waited for our gate checked bag, I could watch Ellie walk out to them. And they were both thrilled to see grandma Rosie. Adam is less thrilled about sleeping in the fun cage, but you can't win them all!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Adventures of Four Bruins.

All of the grandparents are scattered to the wind this week - my folks are already in the Midwest, Tim's folks are on their way to Hawaii, and Parissa's mom took off to go visit her family in Texas, leaving Pari with a three week old baby and 18 month old Mila. We had been commiserating about how much we rely on the grandmas in our lives, and I offered to come out and bring lunch and meet the new baby.

It was such a cute afternoon. Ellie is in love with Mila and now in love with Rahim, and when she wasn't bossing around her army of minions, she was standing inches from Pari and talking her ear off. The four kids were quite the adventure, running around the house, going outside to pick oranges off the tree, chasing the dog. What more could you want?

I love this, because Ellie and Rahim are having a moment, and then the toddlers are being creeps and staring at them.

Crazy to think that between the two of us, we've had four babies in less than four years! (and for reference, Adam is taller than Mila, but is sitting back in the crack of the couch, looking petite.) Four years that were almost more adventurous than our four years in college! It's also been sort of the same - lots of puking, crying and late nights.

It's so fun to watch the kids together. Mila is a talking machine, and it was incredibly sweet to watch her walk around asking for Ellie. I can't wait to see what they're like in another six months, all together.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hot Hot Heat.

It continues to be unseasonably warm here, and I continue to be miserable about it all. I am wilted and melting and crabby. It's just hard. Errands are miserable hot. Our AC runs fine, but I feel stir crazy because it's too hot to spend any time outside, even with the patio cover. I feel like laying down on the side of the trail during morning runs.

Saturday night we were trying to figure out something to do, and decided that since we live in Southern California, where it's too hot to live, we might as well enjoy some of the perks of this dump, so we went and had tacos in Laguna Beach and then went to the beach to watch the sunset.

The food was delicious, the kids were well behaved, and the beach wasn't too terribly crowded. We had a nice half hour digging in the sand and watching the sun set, and both kids dipped their toes in for a bit but didn't try to get totally coated in sand. Plus who doesn't like the smell of salt air and the sound of the waves?

The only downside was that this was the best sunset photo of me and my children that I could get.
Can't win 'em all.