Thursday, October 29, 2015


Overwatch has now been released to closed beta, so it's been a very exciting week around here. I am unbelievably proud of him and all of his wonderful nerds. It's certainly been a long road to get to this point - we moved into our house six years ago for him to work on at Blizzard, and his hard work is finally out there for the world to enjoy.

AND I'm so excited that I actually play it! I'm not good (at all) but I'm having fun. I enjoy playing the Russian bodybuilder hero, not in small part because one of Tim's coworkers pointed out that she sort of looks like me in the face and hair (wish I was that buff!)

The funniest thing is that Tuesday, one of Tim's coworkers sent an email to the team with a screen shot of an excited, swear filled chat from someone in the game, who was loving the action. Then an exec sent out a screen shot his wife had sent him, of someone typing "wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" during the game she'd been playing. Tim took one look at the second email and had to say to everyone "guys, that's my wife." I was trying to walk and chat at the same time! I don't know what's going on! Don't make fun of me you guys! Everyone had quite a good laugh. Mostly me. Tim keeps asking if I want to join a game with his coworkers and friends - big no thanks to that! I only like to humiliate myself in front of strangers.

This past weekend we did a family photo shoot for Don's 70th birthday. I don't want to spoil too many surprises BUT, I definitely think we got our Christmas card photos.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Week in Review.

Ellie had a very successful fifth birthday, partying with all of her people. It also got me thinking about how much our lives have changed in five years. So many new friends that we didn't know five years ago and now absolutely cannot live without. So much new experience with weird little kid things. So, so, so much joy and love. She is the light of our lives.

Poor Tim has been working a lot of long hours lately, usually only home for a bit in the morning before school and then home after the kids go to sleep (sometimes after I've gone to sleep as well.) We are doing our best to keep on keeping on.

Mostly this has included a lot of time spent at the park, because I can read a book or magazine and they can run off some energy.The other night they told me to leave them alone because they were having brother and sister time. The only problem is trying to scrub all of the sand out of their hair at the end of the night.

Here they are, doing some good dancing outside of El Maguey for Ellie's birthday

Last week at the park. Typical.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Our Five Year Old.

Opening her big bag of socks and undies!

Lunch with the ladies, and a special dessert

Birthday cake, started as a turd

Finished as a beautiful dress for Princess Tiana!

Family love

Ellie and Grizz having some fancy dancing

The Ford boys, all excellent dancers

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Birthday Painting Party.

Well, it finally happened. I finally had a non-family birthday party for one of my kids, or as Ellie called it "the little kid party." Different than the grown up party tomorrow with her grandparents and aunts and uncle.

It was a really great day. I found a little local painting place where you paint your own ceramics, like Color Me Mine, but independently owned out of a little historic adobe building in San Clemente, run by a wonderful, sweet, heavily tattooed hippie lady. Ellie had five friends and their moms, plus Gigi and Mimi and Sara (aka, the biggest kid.) They had a little patio table in the back with picnic tables and twinkle lights, so we were able to set up the snacks and drinks out there, and then when everyone arrived, Sarah walked us through the process of selecting and painting our chosen items. The girls all went to town, doing some princess and some mermaids and some Christmas ornaments. They were so adorable, happily going and picking out their colors and chatting with each other while they worked. Sara made a bunny, Mimi made a little cupcake, and I made a little bowl. Ellie made a Christmas star ornament - changing her mind from the cat bank she was sure she'd make last week.

When the kids finished, they went outside and had a few snacks, and they were able to chalk on the driveway there, and play with some little ride on toys. They also had a good time running around with the mylar Frozen balloon that Ellie had picked out earlier in the day... until to no adult's surprise, the balloon got released to freedom. RIP Anna and Elsa, you were good for the six hours that we had you.

A couple of the moms got to go inside and do some painting of their own while the kids played. Ellie was delighted to open her presents, and then we sang happy birthday with the lemon cupcakes Ellie and I had made. In my usual cake-fail ways, there were supposed to look like sunflowers, but instead looked like stars with sugar sequins jammed on top. Wait until you see the turd cake we have for tomorrow.

All in all, a successful party. I had a blast hanging out with my girl and making a craft, she had a fantastic time with all of her friends, and I think the guests had a good time too. At the end of the party, Sarah had all of the guests sign a little tile that she'll paint and glaze as a memory for Ellie, which I think is a really sweet touch. I can't wait to see our creations when I pick them up later this week!

Shot of all of the little painters

Snacking out back

Balloon chasing, in happier times

This is basically the best photo I have of all of the little girls. We made little aprons for everyone with their names. Turned out to be unnecessary because for one, most of the girls were pretty tidy, and for two, all of the paint was water based and washable (which is great!)

Whitney, Ellie and Lexi at cake time. Our three nutty little Musketeers, for sure.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Things Unphotographed

Yesterday the gas company was out here fixing a leak in the line, which took longer than they expected, but the workers were SO nice. They came and knocked to let me know their timeline, and when nap time was over, we went over to watch them back filing the hole they'd dug. Adam was completely thrilled because they had a small digger (a "Mary Ann!") and one of the guys let Adam come up, sit on his lap and punch at the controls for a minute. Adam was in absolute heaven, even if he barely made the machine move. Did not have my camera.

Tonight we went for a fundraising dinner for Sara's Club. In an effort to help the fundraising, I invited Mimi and Poppy, as well as a bunch of other friends, and with Gigi and Grizz there it meant all of my babysitters were in the same place. So I bought tickets for the kids, figuring that it was a casual enough atmosphere, we'd have plenty of helping hands, and it's also good for them to learn about giving back to others. Ellie was SO thrilled to go. She dressed up in one of her new holiday dresses and her big multistrand of pink pearls, with a sparkly headband. When our table got crowded, she was only too delighted to go sit at the "grown up table" with Granny Janny and Grandma Janet, with her peanut butter sandwich from home and her kiddie cocktail. But alas, did not get a photo of her utter cuteness.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Picking Battles.

Transitional K requires getting up early, which in some ways is nice. When I have to wake Ellie, I go in and lay down with her and we snuggle for five minutes or so, which I love. She snuggles up and wraps her arms around my neck and I can just lay there and hold her like she's my baby (which she forever is.) Then we get up and pick out clothes. I will steer her towards weather appropriate outfits, but overall, don't interfere with what she wants to wear. So sometimes, she wears this:

I asked, do you think this matches? and she said yes. So, there you go.

Later that day we went to the park, and she looked truly insane.

This is the photo she drew at school to represent her family. Tim has green eyes and big sideburns. I have some weird mullet thing and maybe some lipstick? Adam is merely a head, being cared for what look like rats with massive claws, but which Ellie assures me are Thor and Lulu. I could not stop with my horrified laughter when she showed this to me.

This should have been in the last post perhaps, but this morning I realized we've passed another milestone in Adam's talking. For the longest time, he's called water "mah." When I tried to get him to say water, he'd ignore me and say mah. Then a month or so ago, he started calling it wah, and this morning in the car when he wanted his cup, he actually said "wah-tah." My little boy is growing up! From newt and mah to milk and water. It's almost like he's people!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Things Adam Says.

Me: (while giving him a kiss attack) Oh, I'm going to eat some delicious baby meat!

His little voice is just the cutest. I love when we're driving over the speed bumps and dips on our way home and he goes "oh mama! Big wump bump! Oh, dippity-do-dah!" And the way he says "cock-a-doo-doo-doo!" as a noise for a rooster.

He is really into his "pack pack" of tools lately, and insists on bringing them around with him. Also very big into his digger, aka Mary Ann. Mike Mulligan and Mary Ann like to climb up into the recliner together to watch TV, which is pretty sweet.

The other day Tim and I went to see a movie, and the text from babysitter Gigi during the evening was "Adam finally learned how to play the kazoo because he started crying into it." Perfect! And so quintessentially toddler, right? The one time that crying actually fixed something.

During our final week swimming, when Gigi was trying to keep him from climbing on something he shouldn't be climbing on, he yelled at her "let go of my BODY!"

My other favorite is how he calls the little decorative light up Jack O Lantern in our kitchen "the happy face."

He loves walking with Ellie to school in the morning. To avoid a lot of the car line nuttiness, I park on an adjacent street and we walk over together. Both kids love running up the ramp instead of the stairs, and afterwards, Adam goes "I wun a-wamp! I exercise!"

Here he is in the car today, comforting his baby. In case you don't understand, first he sings You Are My Sunshine, and then Goodnight My Sweetheart from the Music Man, which I didn't even know he knew! It's a song I find myself singing more to Ellie.

Monday, October 5, 2015

UCLA, Fight Fight Fight!

We had a nice weekend with a bunch of my best friends from college. It was like being twenty two again, except there were a bunch of little kids running around who we were responsible for. On Saturday we went up to the Rose Bowl and met up with Pari and James and Mila and Rahim to tail gate and see the game versus ASU. It went really well. For one, they found us on the freeway (sometimes pays to drive a bright blue clown car!) and so we easily caravaned in together, then set up our tent and chairs and got to eating and drinking and watching the kids ran around like happily little nuttkins.

The game itself was not as fun. For one, it's a long walk into the stadium, and those kids are heavy. The cutest part was the fact that Adam LOVES James, and at one point Pari and I looked back, and Tim was carrying Rahim while Adam was holding James' hand and looking up at him with big love eyes. Then during the game, our team stunk and Adam insisted that he spend the entire time trying to walk around. We were seated in the benches, so he just sort of climbed over everyone for a good two hours, the little nut. In the third quarter when things were really looking terrible, we decided that it would be best for everyone to just head home, and it was the right decision. The kids got into their jammies and Adam fell asleep on the way home, and then everyone slept in the next morning, hooray! It was definitely a long and tiring day, but on the ride home Ellie declared that it was the most fun game she'd ever been to, and that makes it all worth it.

Then Sunday Lucas and Fluff stopped by on their way back from Oceanside, and Adam immediately ran over to hug Lucas when he walked into the house. Lucas didn't know quite what to make of it, but they had a great time running around and playing trains and using Adam's tools and trash grabber while the adults sat on the couch, ate and watched football. It was like being in our Culver City apartment again, except now my living room is bigger than our entire apartment!