Monday, November 30, 2015

Baby Bruins.

Ugh, both of my favorite teams lost this weekend. TIME FOR A BLEACH AND TONIC. The good news is that we got to watch the UCLA game with Pari and James and their kids. And not only that, but when we arrived, Parissa saw Ellie's dress and said Mila had the same dress. And since Mila was still in her jammies, Ellie helped her pick out her outfit!

Sorry to Pari that she had to do all the extra laundry - Ellie's outfits are never simple!

The kids had a great time, but by the end of the afternoon, Adam was so tired that she said "my nap!" and climbed into Rahim's crib. Needless to say, they both sacked out pretty much immediately in the car and were snoring in tandem at one point.

Yesterday we had a movie party with our friends, which was also awesome. Nine kids sitting on a couple of beach towels in Sara Jo's living room while the parents ate and drank and talked smack in the kitchen and family room. It sure was a good weekend for family and friends!

Not a good weekend for crafting, however. While we were putting up our tree I admired all of the ornaments that my grandmas made, and my great grandma, and my mom and Lisa and thought, man, I could make a thing. I could do a craft.

Behold, it's a butterfly. And if you're mean to me, I'll make one for you.

Friday, November 27, 2015


Another good turkey day in the books with our little turkeys. Ellie slept over at Gigi's on Wednesday night - she packed for her trip upon waking up Tuesday morning and told EVERYONE about how great it was going to be. Sara had to work the morning of Thanksgiving, so Ellie had Gigi and Grizz all to herself, for the making and eating of pancakes, a trip to the park, and some time spent baking cookies and prepping side dishes. She was in absolute hog heaven. The day before she and Adam helped me put together two pecan pies, though I sent Tim and Adam to the park when I worked on my mushroom cheesy bake, which turned into a pretty sweet solo dance party in the kitchen, I must say.

We forced them both to take naps, because we are cruel overlords, and then did the grand tour of Southern California. A quick stop off at Gigi's was perfectly timed with Grandma Rosie on Skype, so we got to say our hellos to her, and she got admire Tim and Adam in their matching Favre jerseys (which I bought back when Favre was actually a Packer, and years before we ever had any babies.) Then we stopped by Jan's so that we could see her grandson, who Ellie has never met, but much enjoyed, and eat a bunch of her appetizers like the vultures we are. Then a final load up for the drive out to Yorba Linda. Ellie was a little sad that none of the other young cousins were there, but she took an instant shine to cousin Mary, who seemed pleased with her task of being in charge. I mean, she's taller than me now, it seems reasonable to just give over control of the five year old. Jake was obviously then put in charge of Adam. Seemed like a smaller gathering than usual, but the food was good and the company was great, and of course, Ellie forced everyone to have a dance party against their will. Even the college boys cannot resist her telling them to do the chicken dance. Tim, Debbie and I also tried to teach everyone how to polka. We stayed late, and then the kids were both insane when we got them home and once again tried to put them in their beds.

Today has been more low key, though a lot more whining. We were able to go get our Christmas tree, which was a huge hit with the kids. And since we have to move the car seats into Tim's car to put the tree in mine, I got a chance to vacuum out the interior, which was a good job done. Many rogue Cheerios found and destroyed. I went on a run while the kids were napping, and when I got home Ellie had already started decorating with abandon. She was so cute - I gave her the manger scene and asked her to cool her heels long enough for me to shower, and she got it all set up and was THRILLED to unveil it to me a few minutes later - turns out she's actually tall enough to arrange it on the mantle! And she remembered that the cow lives on the roof. Which, if it doesn't seem obvious to you, recheck your Biblical history. I'm pretty sure it's in there.

We had a pizza party with some neighbor friends tonight, which ended with the kids being totally bat crap insane! I had to tell Ellie at bed time that if they'd all been able to calm down and stop throwing themselves over and off the couch, we could have stayed longer. It was like some sort of WWE wrestling match in the play room, and Adam delighted in trying to climb the stairs... from the other side of the stair rail. Thanks kids! You're acting like total savages! This is why we can't have nice things! But they came home and put on their elf jammies, and insisted on having their bed time books read to them in front of the tree. Ellie kissed it before she went to bed. I can't blame her. I've been sitting in the Pretty Room all afternoon, just enjoying the lights. And I love that a lot of the neighbors have been decorating their houses today. But still not enough to go to the effort of putting lights on my own house, you understand.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

We Run the City 2015.

You know what they say about the family that races together!

We had a really nice morning, despite being at USC. We had to wake the kids up to start the day, which is always a bummer, but we grabbed bagels on the drive up and they were pretty content with it all. We got there and they played with some of the little kid activities, and then Ellie and I went and grabbed a spot in front of the stage when Auntie Sara and a bunch of the other Hawks were leading the pre-race stretching. The event actually sold out, which was great, and Special Olympics beat their fundraising goal! Thanks to all of our generous friends, we raised $1000 for SOSC today!

The Bad News Bruins started at the VERY back of the pack - our friend Andrew and his son Hal were running with us, so we kept our giant strollers away from the ankles of the serious runners. I figured that Tim and I would just walk the course together, but Andrew (who is a serious athlete) started jogging, and then we started jogging, and so I ran the whole thing. Tim, who hasn't run since early college, trolled me by walking, and then jogging to keep up with me, and then when he got close he'd start walking and I'd look back and think "dammit, am I really running so slowly that he can just WALK and keep up?" Thankfully, he got tired out and I dropped him during the last mile, which makes me feel slightly better about the fact that he can eat whatever he wants and never gains weight.

Jake didn't know if he'd be in town for the race so didn't run it, but he came and cheered us on, and jumped in and out to jog with us, which Ellie thought was hilarious. She and Adam also spent portions of the race chanting "go Bruins!" and when people looked back at me, I'd say "yeah, I made my own cheerleaders." They were so cute. Ellie asked about the people in red shirts and I said that today, and today only, we'd like them because they were helping Special Olympics, and Ellie said "well, I like Special Olympics best of all."

After most of the 5K runners were through, they got the kids lined up for a fun run. In typical fashion, Adam tried to take off before the actual gun, and then when the race started, he didn't want to do it any more. Ellie was stoked and ready to go, but within a few steps, she got a shoe blown off by another kid. There was much weeping about it, and she told Jake "I don't want to be last!" So I ran the course with her (taking a short cut) and she came over the finish line feeling good, and was so proud of getting her very own medal. All in all, a successful day in athletics and charitable endeavors.

The best part is that then we got to drive to Yorba Linda and drop off the kids! Ellie doesn't have school at all this week, so perhaps they can just move into Mimi and Poppy's house!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Baking Blogger.

A year or so ago, when Ellie was whining about wanting to watch things about Frozen, stumbled upon the Nerdy Nummies channel on YouTube

And a love affair was born. Ellie loves her cooking videos, and honestly, there's a lot to love about Ro. Her channel is really cute and funny, and VERY creative. Plus, we love nerds in this house. When I heard that Ro was releasing a cook book and going on a book tour, I found the date in Orange County and lo, it worked out that Ellie could attend!

Tim and Elles drove up to the Barnes & Noble in Orange today to buy their copy of the book and get their wrist band, since it was a timed entry event. All of the books were pre-signed when they got there, but they got a chance to actually met and greet with Ro.

Tim says Ellie walked right up and said, unprompted and uncoached "I love watching your show. I'm so happy to meet you!" She and Ro had A Moment, and when she got home she was so excited to show me the cook book and the recipes that she wants to make. I'm so glad that she had a fun afternoon and got to meet her favorite celebrity. And the cook book is really great! Beautiful pictures, good instructions, and lots of fun things to make. You know, if my decorating skills weren't henious.

The other funny cooking item today was that I tried to make a lemon budino, so I busted out my beastmaster stand mixer to whip egg whites. Ellie came into the kitchen and you would have thought that the mixer was a puppy - she was SO excited to find that we own one, though she did request I go buy her her own in blue (not happening! Get a job or go get married like a normal person! That's how one acquires such an expensive item!)

The budino didn't really turn out the way I'd hoped, but Ellie was thrilled to learn that we could also use the stand mixer to make our own whipped cream. And since the lemons came from my own tree outside, it was a straight up farm to table artisan hippie dessert! If I made it in a restaurant, I could charge $17!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Kittens in their Natural Habitat

Ellie, in her crafting-time bliss. There's even a real turkey feather at Gigi's house to adorn her construction paper turkey.

Speaking of construction, they are once again fixing the street in front of our house. Adam probably spent a solid 90 minutes today just watching all of the big truck/bulldozer/Maryanne Action.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fun Run!

Just a quick plug for the upcoming We Run the City 5K, which benefits Special Olympics of Southern California, and pits UCLA and USC fans against one another in a test of athletics and skills. We are all walking it as a family, and then the kids are registered for the Fun Run. Ellie is THRILLED.

So if you are feeling it, you can support any member of our team here!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Home Again!

Despite the very delicious smell of sweet, newborn baby, I was able to tear myself away from my new baby-love Benjamin Button and return home to Orange County on Saturday. Tim did a great job as the stay at home dad - the kids probably like him the best by A LOT more now. They got to go to the science center and the petting zoo, along with having a movie night and watching the Lego movie. However, when asked if he wanted to be the stay at home parent, Tim replied "Once Adam is 5, sure. Two year olds are tough. They are full of bad ideas and they don't hesitate to execute them, then they get real made when you say no." Story of my life! For instance, today I caught Adam trying to play with all of the little doo dads on my dresser and told him no (this after he hid a ring from me yesterday, which was inconvenient.) He cried and said I was not being nice, so I told him he could take the little photos of himself and Ellie and go play with them. He immediately grabbed all four, went to Ellie's room and threw them to the floor while jumping on the bed.

On the flip side, Benjy doesn't sleep through the night and basically cries when he's awake and not eating, but we did some real quality snuggling.

Becca even let me parade around Target with him in the Moby wrap, which is my favorite thing ever. And I did some Moby wearing around the house so that she could nap or get stuff done. I love a snuggly baby. Becca is of course, the sweetest mom, and patient and awesome with him. I was so glad to be able to come by and help, holding babies, petting cats, making dinner, pushing the cart at Target. The whole shebang. And I convinced Brian to try out the Moby wrap! Yards of fabric for everyone!

We used Rocky Raccoon as the stunt baby for Brian's initial Moby lesson. Everyone loves Rocky!

I also got a lot of reading done, which makes me happy. It also makes me incredibly happy to see how close Ellie is to figuring out how to read. She's starting to sound out her letters and get through small words, and she recognizes a lot more words out and about. She asks me how to spell things, or will see a word and ask me what it is. To me, there's nothing more wonderful than a good book, and I absolutely cannot wait for her to have the ability to read for pleasure. Since Tim has already shown her how to play Mario Brothers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Farewell, Muffins!

Tim had a very successful Blizzcon. This is his first time going as more than a regular employee. He's INTERNET FAMOUS NOW!

This is a good, fairly brief interview (compared to the hour and a half engineering team interview that he did that day.) He's the smartest and the prettiest! The game was well received and all press has been positive thus far. So, good job Team Four!

As for Team Ford, I suckered Don and Jake into coming over for dinner on Saturday night so that the kids and I would have some company, since everyone else was away or busy. Jake is a single man again, which is sad for him, but wonderful for the kids because they have been just LOVING all of the time with their uncle. It does my heart good to see it. They have taken to calling him Jakey, and the other night Adam went and hid behind the time out chair and yelled "here I am Jakey, come find me!" Tim managed to join us before dinner was over, and then I immediately tarted up and peaced out for a bachelorette party. Stayed out past 1am, and stayed sober enough to drive myself home from the party bus!

It's been a long couple of weeks though. Tim's understandably been working a lot, and the kids are just insane. Adam is in full on two year old mode and has learned the art of back talk. It is unbelievably frustrating times to feel like everything I say is received with whining or an argument back. I am not running a debate team, you little jerks! I am trying to keep you alive and raise you to be decent human beings! I am so thankful to leave for Chicago in a few hours to meet Benjamin and love on Becca (and Brian.) I am actually looking forward to getting up and helping with middle of the night feedings. Sure, the baby may cry, but he's not going to chuck a block at my head, or slam his thirty pound body onto a sensitive part of my body, or scream in my face when I tell him that he can't eat yet another piece of Halloween candy. Tim is taking the rest of the week off work and has nothing planned, so good luck to him! I did make sure that we have groceries and diapers, so hopefully he can avoid the fun of trying to herd both kids through the store. And tomorrow Ellie has no school, so they can perhaps go on a larger adventure. The biggest adventure for me is realizing that I own noise canceling headphones, and I can wear them on the plane because I'm not in charge of anyone other than myself! Here I come, airport gin and tonic!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Brown Eyed Girl

School pictures came back today - is there anything sweeter than this face? I adore her so. And I'm glad she didn't take the opportunity to look like a nut.

Today feels like an especially nutty day. Tim is off to Blizzcon, to talk about Overwatch and be an all around important guy. Ellie had her jog-a-thon at school, which meant all of the TK kids were "early birds." Thankfully, we didn't have any more trouble parking and getting to school than usual. Just the regular frustrations of trying to herd two cats over to the entrance. Adam has been bringing his trash grabber along and insisting on stopping every four feet to move some leaves around. Note to self: trash grabber not allowed at drop off any longer.

Then I was off to our MOPS boutique, which is our big fundraiser of the year. There's a bunch of vendors, a bake sale and silent auction stuff. I helped write the silent auction descriptions this week, and as I was doing it I thought "why did I volunteer for this? I just now remember that I hated doing these for the gala when I was working." Still, it was a fun, crazy morning. I ate a cupcake for breakfast, I wore a Santa hat to sell raffle tickets, and Adam was so happy to go to the nursery today. He said "I go to my MOPS! I see my fwends!" Vast improvement over me dropping him off while he sobs.

Now I am ready for a nap! But I wish I had more cupcakes.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Another weekend full of friends! We had the Blizzard trick or treat event, followed by impromptu pizza with the neighbors, a Halloween birthday party, lots of trick or treating, and then a Sunday Funday football party on the docket this past weekend. I went to bed last night feeling so grateful for all of our fantastic friends. 

Our Halloween crew was a half dozen families and approximately six million small children, or so it felt. 

Three of the families live in the same neighborhood, and there is a street that goes all out with candy, cotton candy, a popcorn machine, bottled waters, and even beer and wine top offs for the grown ups! The kids were so excited to trick or treat, and most of them walked the entire two mile trip. Adam did a lot of it without his shoes on, and did the entire thing sans costume. He asked once for his fire fighter outfit, but the second I put it on, he demanded I take it off. I asked if he wanted to put on his football shirt, he also did not want to do that. Thankfully, everyone was nice about it and understood that sometimes two year olds have problems. He was so excited about it all - after each house he'd run to the end of the driveway and proudly hold open his bag and show me his treasures. 

I asked Ellie to smile so I could send a picture to Mimi. She looked like this:
Nice, kid.

Adam's got cotton candy all over his face. He's not a vampire (yet)

On Friday for the Blizzard trick or treat, I dressed as my Overwatch alter ego.
NAILED IT. People keep asking if Tim asked to have me put in the game, and the truth is, I've probably never met the artist who designed Zarya. I'm just a classic beauty, I guess. And yes, putting lipstick on my forehead did immediately make me break out like a teenager. The good news is that the purple hair dye washed out pretty easily, when I made Tim spray me at the kitchen sink. Teamwork! 

Ellie's favorite part was the sherbert.