Monday, June 29, 2015

Little Butterfly.

Oh our Adam. Lest you think I am joking about how much this kid loves butterflies, I give you the following:

Some little boys know everything about trucks. Some know everything about dinosaurs. Adam loves him some butterflies. And buzzy bees and other bugs too.

It was a weekend of wedding stuff for me and mom and Sara. We all went to a bridal shower on Saturday afternoon for one of our neighbor friends, and then after dinner, went up to an ice skating rink in Lakewood for Judy's wedding reception/post elopement party. And it was a blast! Sara and mom did great, especially Sara, after not being on skates since we moved to California almost two decades ago. She only fell a couple of times, but we all had fun using the little seals that they provided for new skaters.

Blurry because I was pushing mom SO FAST!

And lastly, we found our Griffin friend Hobson on our walk yesterday. One of our fave dogs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Binny Pigs!

Library story hour is on hiatus, but no worries, the binny pigs are always available on demand.

Especially if you are queen of the piggies!

Always a fun Tuesday with Mimi activity, with bonus trip to Rubys, and Adam coming home with almost a dozen kernels of corn stuck in his diaper and jeans after a long time spent rolling around in the corn box.

The kids continue to be absolute swimmy fishes in Gigi and Grizz's pool. This week we got out pool noodles and also inner tubes and basketballs. Ellie wanted to sit in a tube to shot hoops, and I told her that I'd hold the inner tube so that she could sit back into it... but her butt's too small and she immediately went straight through. It was pretty hilarious, poor thing. Grizz is never happier than when the kids are enjoying the water. And I like to think that his Grandpa Boo, the one and only Elmer George Washington Thiel, would love to hear that when Adam gets out of the car, he immediately says that he is going to run inside and "boo Grizz!"

Monday, June 22, 2015

Busiest Weekend.

Uff! Even for us, who tend to pile up the fun on weekends, this weekend was a doozy. The kids had their make up swim lesson on Saturday morning from 9-9:30, then a break, and then their regular lesson from 10-10:30. No one else showed up for the make up, so both kids got private lessons! Then they refused to leave the pool during break and hung through the second swim lesson.

After ninety minutes of swimming, they came home to a house full of people, as I'd offered to host a bunch of my old coworkers from the Petersen Automotive Museum for lunch. It was a trip - we haven't all been together since 2008, and back them we were a bunch of dumb, young married couples. Now everyone has kids. Marylene and Mike, who were secretly dating at the time, are MARRIED and have a baby of their own! It was so crazy and so fun. There were a couple of big girls for Ellie to play with (lots of fun dress up in her room) and a couple of toddler aged boys for Adam to go in the wading pool with, and the adults enjoyed eating and day drinking. It was much like old times, except there were a ton of kids and no one threw up. The youngest friend was three month old Cyrus, and Ellie offered to his mom that when she grows up, she can take care of baby Cyrus, if Christy wants to drop him off at Gigi and Grizz's house (which is where Ellie intends to live while she's working at her art store.)

The kids until in until 2, and then we all took naps. When they woke up, it was off to the fairgrounds for Tim's company picnic. They always do a really nice job of providing entertainment for all ages. The only bummer was that the kids had to wait in line for the bouncy castle and it immediately collapsed on them. Thankfully, everyone was fine and they were able to get it re-inflated, and thankfully for us, Ellie recovered from that disappointment by going to look at all of the animals on the farm. She had a great evening - loved the bumper cars, ate some corn, and got a fancy cupcake. When she dropped part of it on the ground, you better believe I just picked all of the grass off and gave it back to her. No pie eating contest, so I retain my crown for another year.

Then Sunday morning both kids woke up unnecessarily early, but at least we had plenty of time to prep for Father's Day brunch with Pa (thankfully, they let their own dad sleep in a little.) We had a good spread, and the kids enjoyed having their family around. Tim's wish was to go see a movie with his little gal pal and his dad, and Jake and Mimi came along too for them to all see Inside Out. Meanwhile, Adam and I took some very long, much needed naps. When I heard Tim come home, I was totally confused and thought it was morning, or that someone was breaking into the house.

Our evening was spent celebrating with Grizz. The kids both enjoyed a good dip in the pool. Ellie was so funny and cute. I watched her swim across the pool, flipping onto her back and paddling when she got tired, and then as she climbed out she said "hello, I'm Mrs. Mermaid!" Indeed she is. That kid is an absolute fish (and her brother is close behind her on fish status. His problem is he lacks the body fat to keep him warm for very long.) The kids helped Gigi and Grizz make pizza from scratch, and then ended the evening outside blowing bubbles and rescuing rolly polies from the concrete. A full life for everyone! I was so glad to climb into bed last night, and so glad that the kids slept in until a decent hour this morning. Summer time is crazy fun!

Thursday, June 18, 2015


It was a long, hot morning, but it's nothing a little wading pool time can't cure.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Know it's Not a Contest...

...but I'm pretty sure these are the world's best kids

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Mommy, you said no. But Mimi said yes!"

When Eileen and Ellie left to visit the mall for Tuesdays with Mimi today, I thought about texting Eileen "don't go into the Disney store with Ellie, and don't be suckered by her!" And then I thought hey, it's their grandma and granddaughter time. It's not my business to meddle - it's Mimi's business to spoil her.

And lo, I was unsurprised when THIS floated through my door after lunch time:

Love is an open door!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


I did the Camp Pendelton Mud Run today with a couple of girls from my MOPS group. I've wanted to do it for a couple of years, but it just hadn't worked out. It's part of the Marine training facility, with some added mud pits and obstacles. It used to be only one day a year and really hard to get into, but now it's turned into a major event and it's several heats across several weekends. It was a fun experience, but a looooong day. We met at Allison's house at seven, because it took us almost an hour and a half to get off the freeway and to the actual course, between driving to the parking area on the base and then getting shuttled to the race. And then while the actual race didn't seem to take too long, we had to wait to clean up afterwards, shuttle back to the cars and drive home. I didn't walk in my door until almost three.

We did the 10K, and for some reason I was surprised because I hadn't quite realized how much actual running it was going to be. I figured it was going to be mostly obstacles, but it was actually probably a solid five miles of just running (mostly uphill, ugh) and then a mile of crawling through muck or swimming through mud. I have never been so gross in all my life. They had rinse stations afterwards, but there's only so much you can do with your clothes still on. I ended up leaving my shoes (which they were collecting for donations) and throwing away my socks and shirt.

Allison and me, afterwards

Tim and the kids had their second swim lesson this morning, and thankfully this time no one threw up in the pool, so they got to enjoy the full time of their lesson. Ellie is doing fine in her new class, and Tim and Adam are happily doing parent and me. Everyone is winning! Now we just need Grizz's pool to warm up for the rest of our summer fun.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Summer Summertime!

June is busting out all over! And summer is here, as much as summer comes when it was gross and hot practically all winter, and Ellie's preschool goes year round like the glorified day care it is that this age.

We've had dinner guests three nights this week, which I love. I love being able to sit outside and eat and watch the hummingbirds fight each other for a spot at the feeders. Wednesday I let Ellie skip school and we went to the trampoline park with Lexi and Judd. Good news - for once we were able to stay there for more than hour, and Ellie didn't spend the last half hour crying. I think our saving grace was a snack break midway through the morning, including cookies. And one of the workers there, designated to watch the larger jumping area, was really great playing with the kids. Adam thought he was especially fantastic. Also fantastic - showing Ellie that I was able to jump and do the splits. Not fantastic - I think I broke both of my hips and pelvis. I am oooooooold.

We have also done fun things like sitting around in the wading pool. Yesterday I was so hot and gross after our trip to the park that I even sat in the water with the kids, enjoying things like how Adam would throw himself down the slide and intentionally kick over Ellie's bucket of water, and then she would immediately refill it and throw it all over him. So relaxing and refreshing! Like being at the spa.

Tonight we went up to West LA for Parissa's graduation party for her PhD. She's a doctor now! It was a nice evening. One of their friends had a three legged chihuahua with her that she was fostering, and Ellie fell in love with the dog, who let her walk her on a leash and carry her around. For a second I thought to myself "maybe we should adopt that dog!" But a three legged mutt would be just what I need. Ellie and Mila were thick as thieves as usual, and Adam was very taken with Rahim. He wanted to snuggle with him, and got sort of miffed when he wanted to kiss Rahim and Rahim (being an infant) didn't understand quite how to pucker up. I can't believe Pari and I are old ladies with a bunch of children between us! Someday, like my dad and his boyfriends, maybe we will fly some place to go watch a baseball game together and reminisce about all of the old times.

Ellie has been really in love with all of the creatures in our animal kingdom lately. A week or so ago she spent fifteen minutes "rescuing" a bunch of rolly polies from the sidewalk out in front of Gigi's house. More than one may have gotten squeezed a little too hard in the process. She has since informed us that someday, when she takes some of her pet rolly polies to show and tell, she's going to bring a nice box of grass for them to live in. And the other day, we found a lizard in our (empty) wading pool and Ellie goes "oh, it's okay. I know how to treat little critters who are scared. I'll show him my hands and sing him a lullaby." She also spent quite a lot of time singing lullabies to Thor today, who got freaked out when we had to lock them up to have our carpet repaired and retacked after all of the renovations (which yes, ended a million years ago. Ugh.) She's such a sweet little lady, that one. Still not getting her a dog.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Reverend Tim.

Tim officiated his first wedding yesterday! He and I both became ministers, via the power of the internet, in preparation for our friends Ed and Erlynne's wedding in early 2016, but Tim was able to put his certification to use for his Aunt Diane and new Uncle Don at their cabin, surrounded by their children. I was in charge of photography.

It was a really sweet day. Very obvious how much Diane and Don love each other, and how happy they were to be getting married and spending the rest of their lives together.

All of Don's kids and their partners were also pretty great. A small, but wonderful audience.

For me, one of the sweetest moments was during the toasts. Don gave a very sweet toast to Diane, and to their families. His son Chris then talked about how happy it makes him to see the joy that Diane brings to his dad's life, and that it's heartening to see that you can find your soulmate even a little later in life. And then Joey started talking about his late father, and how his dad died, but now he has Don, and he loves Don and Don loves him, and Don responded by raising his glass and having us all toast to Scott.

It was the sweetest thing, even as you can see, Joey was not a fan of the corks being popped.

All in all, a very sweet, beautiful day. I'm so glad we were able to be a part of Diane's big day, and here's to many happy years for her and Don.

(and of course, thanks to Mimi and Poppy for keeping an eye on Ellie and Adam so that Tim and I could drive up to the mountains and even go out for a nice date night dinner on the way back. ROMANCE FOR EVERYONE!)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Singing Babies

The kids new favorite thing to do is to be out in the front yard. And by that I mean the driveway. They will run around and climb on our little brick fences and remark about all of the cars and dogs that go by. You know, the average good time. I take it as an opportunity to sit in the sun, when I'm not jumping up to make sure one of them isn't about to fall and bust their face open.

Reasonable outfits.

So here is Adam yesterday doing some front yard time, singing his ABCs.

Last night our big fun was going to the Irvine Spectrum for their Tip a Cop fundraiser for Special Olympics. It's always a big turn out and a fun night. Six restaurants participate by having Special Olympians and cops working together as assistant servers, and during your meal, they'll tell you about all the good stuff that Special Olympics does, and ask you for a donation. The police also bring along a lot of cool stuff for the kids to see - a couple of motorcycles that the kids can sit on, a paddy wagon, a mobile command center, sometimes a bomb sniffing dog. So even if you don't want to eat, it's a fun night at an outdoor mall that's already pretty fun for little kids (we went on the carousel before we did anything else.)

I mean, check out the joy on Ellie's face:
We got to eat at our favorite restaurant (Ruby's) with some of our favorite friends, sat on all of the police items, saw Gigi and Sara and generally had a good night (followed by much sobbing when after many "it's almost time to go" warnings, it was actually time to go. Such is life with small children.)