Wednesday, March 25, 2015


How is it possible that our little man is two already? It feels like time has truly sped up since we have him - probably because having two kids truly keeps us on our toes.

At age two Adam:

-LOVES his Cookie Monster shoes. He likes to put them on the second he wakes up and says goodnight to them when we finally make him take them off. He still loves his "baby" lamby more though
-Talks up a storm. He can put a half dozen words together in a sentence, and is clear enough that most people can understand him. And of course, we love his monster voice
-Can count to ten
-Identifies most of his colors, but as he's always done, will refuse to answer questions just because. He refuses to be a trained monkey!
-Climbs up onto just about everything
-Loves helping in the kitchen. He will put on his apron and bring Ellie and I our aprons as well. The other morning he got his apron, grabbed a bowl, came to me and goes "MAKE!"
-Favorite books are Snowy Animals, the Babies on the Bus, You are My I Love You, and Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You. He also loves pop up books and books with touch and feel pages
-Can imitate most animal noises. Loves yelling at crows and "buzzy bees." Deeply enjoys petting the cats, and especially loves laying on poor, patient Petunia
-Loves a good dance party
-Favorite foods are peanut butter sandwiches, cheerios, crunchy peas, kitty cookies and berries
-Adores his sister beyond measure, but is starting to get really salty to other little boys his age. The other day Hal walked in and Adam walked over and shoved him and said "MINE!" over nothing
-Still a pretty solid mama's boy
-Is starting to take up coloring, mostly on paper. Sometimes on other items
-Is the funniest little snuggly darling. I can't imagine our life without him

For his birthday we met up with Judd at the Spectrum. Played on their play ground, bought some new clothes, spent forever trying to buy a few sundries at Target. We took the boys out to lunch and I had intended to go on the carousel and the train, but time was running out so train only it was! Sorry Adam! Then we got Ellie from school and went and bought some new Altoids, because my kids LOVE breath mints.

Tonight we had the family over for dinner. It was such a nice evening that we ended eating al fresco, and then Ellie cried a lot because it wasn't her birthday and it wasn't her pan of brownies or ice cream, and she had to wait her turn to get Grizz to squirt whipped cream into her mouth. It's hard to be the older sister. Thankfully, she recovered in time to open all of Adam's presents for him.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend with Friends.

Saturday morning we headed out to Knotts Berry Farm to meet up with Parissa and James and their kids. Mila and Adam were born five days apart, and baby Rahim just turned six months. Ellie LOVES Mila, and she was so excited to get to go to an amusement park. Though I did have to back
pedal after I told her it was "like Disneyland" because she immediately started asking what princesses would be there. Sorry, only Snoopy! Who is not actually a princess! We had a good time riding the rides in Camp Snoopy, and then Ellie was able to ride the Mexican hat dance ride a few times while all of the smaller kids rode the carousel. We had a fun time, but when we got home I had to go lay down for awhile. I am not cut out for the amusement park lifestyle, especially if I have to bring my kids.

Not visible here: the fact that Adam was wearing a hand me down UCLA basketball shirt with ruffles at the shoulders. Did not realize it was designed for ladies. He made it look good.

Then Sunday afternoon we went over to hang out with Lexi, Judd and Whitney. The dads were off playing video games until dinner time, and the second all three of them walked through the door, all three moms took off like a shot for some Sunday Funday times minus children. We spent a good five hours talking each other's faces off, and it was much needed. Whitney had been barfing during the week, Lexi broke her arm on Friday at school, and I had been alone with my kids all week, so all three of us needed to blow off some steam and drink some glasses of alcohol.

Within an hour we got texts from the dads that they had ordered pizza and put on a movie for the kids. Parenting at its finest!

Both boys are really devoted to wearing shoes at all times.

Speaking of shoes, Gigi has generously donated two pairs of high heels so that my children can feel like royalty.

The only downside is that the sound of the kids clomping makes me want to wear noise canceling headphones. HATE. I have actually hesitated on moving my shoe rack back to the hall closet, because it's been so nice to have my heels hidden in our master closet, away from clompy and stompy.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy First Day of Spring!

How old do you think they'll be before they refuse to put on the headbands and sit down on the tie out chair?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Back to Normal

Well, we made it through the week. The final renovations have been done to our house - the only thing left to do is have the carpet tacked back down, and door stops put on the doors so that the kids can't bust their new door knobs into the new drywall.

Here's the new fireplace! I had a brief moment where I thought to myself "self, do you have too many kinds of natural stone in the house? Is this house TOO MUCH?" and then I realized, that was the stupidest though I've ever had, because one can never have too much beautiful stone. It's like having too many fancy jewelryos.

It turns out the Civic is salvageable, but it needs a new timing belt and a few other things that cost more than we're looking to put into it, plus Tim has been looking for a new car for awhile. So today he was able to go and purchase a brand new Honda Accord hybrid touring edition, which he is in love with. It has many bells and whistles and features. We don't quite know what to do with such a fancy ride! Meanwhile, I will be going back to driving his old Honda Fit in Electric Boogaloo Blue. The new Accord is white, which would not be my first (or second) choice, but the good news is that in 10-12 years when Tim wants a new car, Ellie can drive the Accord and hopefully by then I'll be driving the Mini Cooper of my dreams. And color aside, I love that the Fit has a ton of interior space despite being so tiny that you can carry it in your purse.

We had a nice St. Patricks Day. I made Irish soda bread from the ancestral Smith family recipe, and since it was Tuesday, Mimi got to come and have some, and she approved. Then during the evening Ellie and I went to the Laguna Niguel library for their Wilderness Tracker presentation for little kids. It was a hoot. This hippie wilderness lady taught the kids how to identify clues in the wild that would tell them what sort of animals had been by - tracks, feathers, scat. And then she showed them several of the animals. There was a bearded dragon lizard, a ball python, an iguana and a turtle, and then the warm blooded animals included an ENORMOUS Flemish giant rabbit (which Ellie was especially thrilled by) a Fennic fox (which I wanted to steal and love on forever) and most importantly, a possum in a hat. I mean, how do you top that? Ellie had such a great evening and I was so proud of her for being a good listener and a good animal petter.

Bonus Adam in his holiday finery

Gigi and Grizz had a great time in Steamboat and arrived safely home tonight. The kids were a little crazy and tired today (as was I) so Sara and I took them out for Golden Spoon before dinner, which was a huge hit. And thankfully, Grizz will be around for pizza and ice cream tomorrow night! All is as it should be.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Well, Isn't that Special!

This week in inconvenient news:

Yup. That's my broken down car. It stalled as I was exiting the freeway. Of course I had the kids with me. And of course, it happened on the weekend when my parents were out of town skiing, and Tim was out of town at an optional company party in Las Vegas (you know, because he was on a business trip for a week only a week ago, and so needed some time to catch up with his coworkers. He just missed them too much!) Thankfully, I always have Auntie Sara (there's a reason why she's my favorite sister) and she was able to have our neighbor come pick the kids up, and the tow truck arrived shortly thereafter, The nice thing about all of the other drivers in my family abandoning me is that at least I can have the Prius without having to bother anyone! And it comes already stocked with mints!

Today I had the car towed from my parents' driveway to the Honda dealership, and Tim and I have both put in calls about the Accord he's looking to purchase. Now it's all a matter of seeing what the service guys have to say, and what the sales guys can do. We were already looking towards replacing the Civic, but weren't looking to do it quite this quickly. It probably heard us talking bad, and decided to fake its death.

The good news is that before everything went to hell in a handbasket, the kids had a wonderful Sunday morning with Mimi and Pa. Not sure if Pa had quite as much fun as Ellie did.

I taught her how to do that, because seeing them playing reminded me of once when we were all out at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Holmen, and ended up having a water fight in the front yard (how it started I don't know - we're sometimes a fun family, but not usually THAT fun) and Grandpa had the hose. David walked up to him and asked to use it, and Grandpa handed it to him, only to have David immediately turn the hose on him.

And on Saturday morning, Ellie, Sara and I had a fun girls date. We met up with Lexi and Whitney and their moms and had lunch at Ruby's and then watched the new Cinderella movie. Second row in the theater of a noon showing! Can't be beat! The girls were pretty well behaved, though we were all glad that the entire audience was kids and parents, so it wasn't such a crime when we ended up having to explain things (or tell the girls to be quiet.) At the end of the movie, Lexi was on Kristen's lap, Ellie was on mine (trying to lean over and talk to Lexi) and Whitney had curled up on my other side, in Ellie's seat, and was patting Ellie's arm and saying how much she loved her. In the end, I think they liked the Frozen short better than the Cinderella movie, and they all liked going on the carousel afterwards and then started crying because they were all tired and it was hot out. No good parenting deed goes unpunished!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Before and After!

It's done! It's done! The bathrooms are done! The fireplace is on hold until the guys finish up at the house Glen is flipping, but the bathrooms and bedrooms are finished!

Master bathroom, before:

Master bathroom, AFTER!

Kids bathroom before:

Kids bathroom, AFTER!

Our closet, before:

Our closet, AFTER!

Ellie's closet, before:

Ellie's closet, AFTER!

Linen cabinets, before:

Linen cabinets, AFTER!

Bedroom doors, before:

Bedroom doors, AFTER!

And now, my thoughts: I am intensely pleased with everything. I love how it looks, and I love the added functionality of everything. It's a house that fits our needs now - the double sinks, the higher set showerheads, the storage space. OH THE STORAGE SPACE. The lack of real closet in Ellie's room had caused me to turn Adam's closet into a dumping ground, and then all of the other toys were stuffed under the Thomas the train table in Ellie's room. Now all her clothes are hung up in her room, and all of the toys are nicely sorted and stored in her closet. The Thomas table remains in the living room because they're playing with it often, but it can easily be put back in Ellie's room (leaving plenty of room left for her to play) or when Adam's done with his crib, I'll put it in his room. The second half of his closet still remains suitcases and fur coats though. Some things can't be helped.

I thought I might miss all of the shelves in our bathroom, but I don't at all. Having the drawers is SO much better, and having to move everything out of the bathroom really helped us declutter. Bonus: I had been thinking about getting some little baskets for storage and sundries after Easter when they'd be on sale, but instead picked a couple up at a yard sale last weekend for the grand total of one American dollar.

I also love the improved look of the place. The new doors and the new baseboards make things look ten times better, and it's nice that the kids rooms are now mirror images of one another, instead of Ellie's room being such a weird, leftover office space. The solid doors just feel better, and now all of the door knobs are the same style and same color. All of our cabinets and fixtures match again, and not because they're all the same cheap melamine. Natural cherry forever! I've always appreciated the good bones of our house, and I'm so glad we could tart her up with some new accessories and paint. And hooray hooray, this should be our last inside project for a loooooooong time. Outside improvements only, from now on!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Getting It Done!

You may or may not have known that Tim was out of town all of this week, hanging out with his many, many nerdy boyfriends at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. This is the first trip he's had since Adam was born, To say I spent a lot of time whining beforehand would be an understatement, though I realize how lucky I have it, to have a husband who doesn't leave the house until 8:30am most days, and who is home in time for dinner. He spoils me with his helpfulness!

We survived, and did well! The only big snafu was that on Tuesday morning, as Tim was leaving, I discovered that my double stroller had popped a tire. Thankfully, since it was Tuesday Mimi came by shortly thereafter and I took Adam for a run in the single, and later in the week Grizz helped me fix my tire (Adam was so cute at the bike store, proudly carrying my bag out to the car for me, and putting it in the trunk. He loves being a big boy.) And Gigi covered for me twice this week when I needed to go and take a nap to deal with my head cold. She is a nice, merciful Gigi.

The other big problem is that our internet has been really spotty, so hence all of these photos that I wanted to share but was una. BLAME TIM.

When Ellie stayed over at Mimi's the other week, Adam really missed her. So much so that he stuck on her bunnies and walked around saying "Ellie bunny hop hop."

She is really getting much more solid on her roller skates. Downsdie, when she bikes or roller skates, most of the time Adam tries to put his cozy coupe in front of her path. Thanks for nothing, bad baby!

All of my cuties from a night out at the Spectrum a week or so ago.

My cute, crazy fashion blogger

The best picture of all of us with Grandpa Charlie

The best picture of all of us with Grandma Rosie

As with all family pictures, there are many out takes.

Last week we went with Whitney and Lexi and Gigi and Sara to see Fancy Nancy on tour. Such fancy, fancy girls!

Some fancy posing and dancing. We got to meet the author and illustrator, and the girls lasted through the book reading, a couple of cute little games and treat time, but then they felt they could scoot out without standing in the hour long line to get their books signed. Fine by me!

This is how we keep busy when Daddy is gone.