Friday, May 29, 2015


Whelp, turns out he's able to open the tube of liquid eyeliner. I think he does a pretty good cat's eye for a two year old.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


We had a busy, but very fun Memorial Day weekend. Tim has been working late most days these past few weeks, so it was especially nice to have him home for three days.

Saturday our friends came over to eat brats and hang out and watch the Ducks/Hawks game (bird fight!) The guys yelled at the TV, the kids dumped out absolutely every toy bin in Ellie's room, and the moms drank too much wine. Things were so crazy that we forgot to go pick Sara up at work, but she thankfully forgave us. And Grizz and Gigi returned from sailing just as we were making ice cream cones, so basically a perfect evening.

A funny story - so Tim put Ellie's cozy coupe together the day she got it (her first birthday) and it took him forever and frustrated him more than anything else in the world, so he refused to put together the trailer for it. We basically forgot about it until last summer when we were over at Whitney's and she had hers put together. And then it's taken another year for us to actually get it out and do it. And of course, it became an instant classic with Juddy getting in the trailer and Adam pulling him around. And it reminded me of little Ellie and Lexi, so of course, I made a side by side comparison, because I love those.

Everyone stayed until almost 10pm! True summer party. One of my favorite moments was when we'd cleaned up and were getting everyone ready to go, and Whitney ran into the pretty room and asked for a dance party. I love being the house where gatherings always seem to end with a loud, crazy dance party.

Then Sunday we spent the afternoon up at Aunt Diane's cabin near Big Bear, helping her plan for her upcoming wedding. Tim is her minister, and I am in charge of taking photos and planning assistance. It was a really wonderful afternoon. Their cabin is really nice and the surrounding area is absolutely beautiful. Both kids enjoyed feeding peanuts to the chipmunks, picking up pine cones, and we all went on a little nature walk down the trail.

Yesterday we had pancake breakfast with Mimi and Poppy, and then happily served them a lunch of the delicious leftovers that Don (Uncle Don, not Poppy-Don, very confusing with all of these new Don/Dawns marrying into the family) had sent home with us. Tim and I then got to escape while Gigi watched the children. A few months ago, I asked my friend's boyfriend to make a new book case for our kids, since the one I bought at Office Max in college had begun to fall apart. I gave Jonathan the measurements, and he went a little overboard, so we had to borrow a pickup and go get it, since it wouldn't fit in a regular car. And when we got it home, I realized instantly that we were going to have to secure it to the wall, lest a kid or cat crush themselves. Poor Tim ran fruitless errands looking for "quake straps" last night, and this morning I found them at the hardware store. The good news is I used the power drill, a screwdriver, a wrench and a stud finder to get that baby securely bolted to the wall. And needlessly reorganized all of the books. I say needlessly because we all know how kids are - they'll be all over the floor before the end of the afternoon.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Last Week in Pictures.

Crafting with Gigi!

And special time with Gigi's box of dead butterflies! Fun fact - Gigi went to a talk at a local nursery about creating a garden that attracts butterflies, and the speaker was the OB who delivered both of my kids. He had a box of dead butterflies too!

Oh, Adam Howard. The other day I came out from the shower and he had gotten out both computers and Tim's mouse, and when I saw him, he yelled "no mommy no mommy no!" Then, I caught him pouring a cup of water through my flour sifter and all over the recliner. Fantastic! This is why we can't have nice things.

Thor, learning to love him.

Last week we also had Ellie's open house one afternoon. So much good work to see!

Puddle jumping, now that it rained for two days and ended the drought.

And when the rain cleared, we took our babies on a walk around the block. Probably took forty five minutes to do the quarter mile loop, but it was a nice stroll.

Yesterday we went and met our friends Bob and Nancy at a Disney hotel, as they're in town for a long weekend visiting the park with their kiddos. We didn't go into the park, but Ellie had a great time going up and down the four story slide. We had planned that she and Tim might go in with Bob and Nancy after we all finished swimming, but it was so late when we got out of the water that we all went home and had naps.

Adam only went down the water slide a couple of times, but he loved being on the slide today at the park, after our run.

And lastly, the kids have been a little under the weather, but still so ready to love on each other once they wake up from nap time. The other day we woke up Ellie and Adam jumped into bed and begged her to "nuggle," as he climbed under the covers with her. Little 'nuggle bugs.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Little Voices.

Surprise, surprise, turns out Adam is nearly as chatty as his sister, and the rest of this family. One of the things I've noticed lately is that he's actually starting to sing. The other day in the stroller he was singing "Shake It Off" to himself, which cracked me up. He's also started singing along with me during lullaby time.

The last few weeks, Ellie has been insisting that ALL of us sing to him at the end of the night. We sing our "special song," which is "I Will" by the Beatles. Adam sits in my lap in the rocking chair, Tim sits on the bed, and Ellie usually sings and also does a dance routine and comes over and holds Adam's face in her hands. Very dramatic on her part. And the last few nights, now Adam has started in on the singing, adding to our demented family band.

There is a downside to all of the singing and the talking, which is namely that somedays I feel like my brain is going to explode if I hear any more small child chit chat. The talking, the songs, the picking at each other and the screaming that follows. However, the kids are also showing a real interest in driving with the windows down, and I've discovered that if you roll down the windows on the freeway, the radio is still audible, but the children in the back seat are not! Feel the wind in your hair and taste the freedom!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

In My Mind, I'm Going to Carolina!

Can't you just feel the sunshine...

We had a blast with Natalie, Logan (three weeks younger than Ellie) and Dylan (about to turn three.) Also present, her parents Papa Alex and Granny Margo, who arrived from Scotland on Monday night.

The noise level of four kids under five was deafening, and we were so glad to have Alex and Margo there to help us with the numbers - five adults versus four kids definitely helps! It was a really nice, relaxed trip. As shown, we spent a lot of time playing in the back yard, running through sprinklers, going in the wading pool, digging in the sand pit, swinging on the swings. The kids were thrilled to have each other to play with - they all four piled into the bath together at night, Ellie and Logan shared a room to their great delight, and they basically cuddled and fought each other like a big pile of puppies. One of my favorites was hearing the following conversation, on more than one occasion:

Logan: Him (Ellie) not my best friend.
Ellie: I AM NOT A BOY!

We did leave the house though! One morning we went to a local strawberry farm and picked a million delicious strawberries, then walked around their little petting zoo.

On Thursday, Natalie was able to get us a tour of the new hangar on base, and we even got to sit in an osprey, which is what Cory is currently flying.

Hanging around the house, Papa Alex also broke out the guitar and we had some good singing and dancing time:

And of course, plenty of reading stories and just hanging around together:

We also got to see Tim's friend Rocco, his wife Kristin, and nine month old daughter Cecily. They're stationed in Raleigh, which is about an hour and a half away. They came up for dinner on Sunday night, and the kids were nuts for each other. Ellie LOVED baby Cecily, and she loved having her birthday buddy there too.

There are no non-blurry shots of the dads getting the kids wound up.

The kids were AMAZING travelers. Adam was absolutely insistent that he be allowed to push his owl suitcase at all times, and all I had to do to get him in line was say "do you want mommy to take your suitcase away? Well then act right!" A little crying here and there out of exhaustion, but nothing too terrible. We were also fortunate to sit next to very nice people on our longer flights - Tim and Ellie were next to a seaman who was on his way to report for duty, and offered Tim his free military drink tickets, because though he's old enough to die for our country, he's not old enough to have a beer on an airplane. I always tell people when I sit down "sorry that you lost the plane lottery" but both of the gentleman I sat next to were so nice to Adam and me. Also funny - on the flight to Orange County yesterday Adam complained that his diaper hurt, so I took him to the rear to change him. There weren't any drop down tables in the lavatory, so I plopped him on the floor and did a quick diaper change. The flight attendants were like, "oh dear, that's so dirty on the floor there, do you need a blanket for him?" and I was like, "nope. He's been rolling around the on the floor at the airport. I've long since given up." (I did make sure that his actual skin wasn't touching the ground while putting on the new diaper.)

In short, an amazing trip. The only thing that could have made it better was Uncle Cory being home to enjoy it with us! But thankfully, we did get to talk to him briefly on the phone one night. And Tim joked that Dylan looks so much like Cory, that when Tim was getting Dylan out of the tub and toweling him off to pass him to Natalie for pajamas, it was like toweling off his best friend. In a weird, yet "la la la la life goes on" type way.

Dylan, Ellie, Logan, Adam

Friday, May 1, 2015

Big Ol' Family Vacation!

Tomorrow we leave for North Carolina, to hang out with Natalie and our godsons, and eventually, her parents. Cory is currently deployed, but we will keep Natalie and the kids company, like some sort of demented USO show.

In the meanwhile, it was hot today and the kids were making me absolutely bat crap crazy. I cannot wait to be on a plane with them for the entire day tomorrow! (excuse me as I head into a corner in order to claw off all of my skin.) Thankfully, Grizz's pool was just the ticket. It was hardly warm enough for swimming, but it was a relaxing break none the less.

Sorry, I don't know why the quality isn't so great (other than that it's recorded on a phone.) Not pictured: Adam wanting to jump from the back wall as well. They are so bold and fearless children, for sure.