Sunday, February 28, 2016


Busy weekends can be hard, but weekends with nothing to do are harder. The kids get stir crazy really quickly, as do I - the whining and the tig toying and the fighting with one another does me in. But thankfully, we live someplace where it's gorgeous all the time, and since buying Adam rainboots has canceled out El Nino this year, it's been especially gorgeous.

Since we had no plans this weekend, we made our own fun! And we did it out in all of the fresh air. Saturday after nap time, we took the kids down to the beach, and it was a fantastic family afternoon. They both loved the water and the waves. Ellie spent a lot of time washing rocks and then piling them up on the beach, and Adam went in between hanging on my hip and yelling at the waves and running back to dig in the sand at Tim's feet. It's so fun to watch little kids at the beach, hollering at the waves - don't chase me, wave! Come back! Don't chase me! Come back! They were such good little muffins playing in the water (and holding my hand the whole time, because Gigi doesn't want me to let them get swept out to sea) and even climbing the 100+ stairs back to our car.

Afterwards we went and had some semi-decent diner food, and delicious Golden Spoon.

Today our big fun was heading down to the trail with the kids' bikes in the car. Ellie is still on training wheels, but is thankfully more dedicated to pedaling than she once was - used to be that if she had to put any sort of juice into it, she'd start crying and quit. This time, she was biking uphill and in circles and it gave me a smidgen of hope for the future. Adam's trike is a little small for him, so he ended up leaving it behind and running up and down the trail. He even made up a "fun" new game where he threw pine cones into the bushes uphill and waited to see if they'd roll back down to him, and then before we left, both kids "rescued" some rolly pollies from the sidewalk.

The other big news around here is that Adam is wearing underwear. And batting 1000 at pooping in them, to my great dismay. He managed to get all his pee in the toilet on day one, but it's definitely an uphill battle, and a fun battle of wills between him and me. I had to bribe him to sit on the potty on Friday morning, and then wrestle him into his underpants for the first time, but once he saw himself in his new Super Marios, he decided he didn't want to put a diaper on. Just another fun adventure in parenting!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

No Cavities!

Took Missy Moo to her first dental appointment today, and she passed with flying colors. I have to admit to being a little nervous going in - we do our best to make sure her teeth are clean, but kids are gross and so there's no telling what could be growing in there, not to mention Ellie screamed so loud at her last pediatrician appointment that I had to hold her down AND hold my hand over her mouth, so I wasn't confident that she'd do well during the exam and cleaning.

But she surprised me! There was some minor crying about the process of having xrays because she didn't like the lead cover up, but I was able to sit and hold her hand and it was over quickly. Dr. Michelle really made the whole thing fun for her by showing her all of the tools and letting her use them (squirting water into her hand and then sucking it up with "Mr Thirsty," using the little scraper on her fingernails first to show her that it wouldn't hurt, etc) and putting a movie on the monitor so that Ellie just had to lay back and relax. No cavities, great looking teeth, and all of the folks in the office seemed delighted with our spunky gal. Then she and I were able to go out for Costco lunch and a little shopping. Successful day! And now I won't be ashamed when the pediatrician asks about whether or not we've seen the dentist. Look, the kid knows my phone number for emergencies, who cares about her teeth?

Meanwhile, Adam is also taking care of his health by bulking up on organic greens.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Another Beary fun week around here - this was from our Valentine's Day photography fun the other week. The kids loved these little bear statues, and they're right above the trail where I go running, though we never go up that way because it's too close to the park (and when mommy goes running, there is no getting out to play. There is only sitting in the stroller!)

Here's also our happy faces on the ferris wheel during family fun day. See? Everyone's smiling! Unlike bowling. I laughed so hard when we saw Grizz the next day and he asked Adam "did you go bowling, or did you go crying?" and Adam said "I cwied."

The good news about this week is that I convinced Adam that he had to start wearing socks with his explorer boots, because he was really beginning to reek. And it even rained one day! The bad news is on rainy Thursday, when I offered Ellie her boots she informed me that they were "not pretty." She loved them when we got them, but not now! Now she only wants to wear her very busted up cowboy boots.

Adam in his biker gear. The Twins uniform he's wearing is 18 months, but still fits huge on him. It's funny how different he and Ellie are when it comes to big wheeling. Adam is totally fearless and gets angry if you try to help him get out of a jam, whereas Ellie would sit and cry and whine and basically try to get someone to push her big wheel the entire way up to the top of mom and dad's culdesac, and then she'd coast down, turn around and resume crying. He is definitely the tougher member of their gang, even if she's still faster. We really need to get Uncle Jake working with her on learning to ride a two wheeler.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Long Weekend.

Ellie's had four days off, and Tim had today off for President's Day, so we've been making the most of it.

Friday we had some girls from MOPS over to decorate Valentines Day cookies - sprinkles everywhere, but a fun time had by all! And then since mom and dad had a date night with Juan and Renee, we got to have dinner at home with Tim, which hasn't happened in awhile because of his crunch time at work.

Saturday our big fun was having our usual crew of friends and neighbors over for a pizza party - Ellie will happily tell you that she didn't have to go to bed until 9:45 that night. The weather was so nice that all the adults sat outside around the big patio table the kids did laps around the house together (much screaming when Ellie and Lexi announced that they wanted to 'play chase' but they didn't want Adam and Judd to actually chase them. It could be because Adam was brandishing his trash grabber and trying to pinch people.)

Valentine's Day was as romantic as it could be with small children. Everyone exchanged cards, and Tim made pancakes with the kids while I went to the swap meet with mom and Renee. I was even able to pick up a few more succulents, because turns out, I told my mom that someday I'd learn to care about my yard, and that time was after a half dozen years of ownership! Ellie and Adam helped me plant a bunch of new little succulents, and some pansies in the front yard. We learned about how if you cut a worm in half, you end up with two worms, and they had a great time helping me plant our little plants and water them in. Ellie said it was the best day ever. And then we got to go and eat steak and potatoes and delicious shortcake with Gigi and Grizz and Auntie and Juan and Renee!

I had promised Ellie that since we had nothing to do today, we'd make it a family fun day and go bowling. She's been begging to bowl since Sara's birthday party, and I thought it'd be a great way to spend the morning. Well. Nothing is apparently less fun than doing family fun day, because we only lasted 35 minutes in the lanes. Adam had a full scale melt down about his bowling shoes (Ellie had already cried before we even left the house, and then informed me that she didn't feel pretty) and Ellie cried after every freaking frame, and after everyone else's turn. After a couple of stern talking tos, Tim and I gave up, and decided in lieu of murdering our children in public, we'd just take them home and put them down for naps (the bowling alley manager very kindly credited me for the 20 minutes we hadn't used. So, $10 for us to attempt bowling again.) FAMILY FUN IS THE WORST. It's almost as bad as just straight bowling (sorry to any bowling fans in the audience, it is personally something I could do without.) Thankfully, the kids napped, and I went on a run, and everyone was in better spirits after snoozing and supper, so we went to the Spectrum and rode the ferris wheel... WITH NO TEARS. Because you know what, I'm going to have family fun IF IT KILLS US ALL. Which, sometimes it might.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Week of Nostalgia.

Because I am vain (surprise!) this blog post is mostly about me, not about the childrenses.

Wednesday night, Tim and I went up to LA to see Guster, a band I have loved since I was 21 years old. We've seen them about a half dozen times together over the years, and I have a million good memories of seeing them with college and grad school roommates and friends. And most importantly, Guster is an amazing live show, and they were playing their 1999 album Lost and Gone Forever in its entirety, making it well worth the week day drive and the late night. My friend Lauren and her fiancee Jonathan came with us, and it got me thinking about the first time I saw Guster with Lauren, back in 2003. Back when it was weird to meet people on the internet!

...then and now!

Speaking of being 21, Wednesday's festivities come on the heels of my Saturday night, going out for my old roommate Annie's bachelorette party. We went out to lunch in Santa Monica, and then got fancy at her hotel and walked over to the Saddleranch Chop House, home of my 21st birthday dinner, and mechanical bull ride.

Good news, mama's still got it. It was SUCH a fun night with one of the most wonderful ladies I know. And it's fun to get to feel 21 again, and then come home to love on my darling kiddos.

I got to volunteer in Ellie's class this week, which was pretty great. It was fun to meet all of her friends and chat with all of the kiddos - such a fun bunch! You'll all be surprised to learn that Ellie Ford, daughter of two major nerds, threw her arm up EVERY TIME the teacher asked a question during story time. Dork! Teacher's pet! Her family project for this month was making a Valentine's box - we took a wine box from Grizz (surprise) and wrapped it in princess wrapping paper, and then each of us decorated a heart to glue on the front, and I put a strap on it so it could be like a purse for her. She happily passed out animal Valentines to her class mates, and in her spare time, has been cutting out hearts and decorating them with wild abandon. I think Grizz has gotten a solid dozen Valentines from Ellie by now, not to mention the clay hearts that she and Gigi molded and painted and modge podged. So many holiday crafts!

This morning we also had a couple of girls from MOPS over to decorate heart shaped sugar cookies. PINK SPRINKLES EVERYWHERE!
In the meanwhile, there's this kid:
Here he is, helping me with cookie clean up. Please note his wardrobe - he is absolutely in love with his "explorer boots." He probably wore them a solid six hours yesterday, but he refuses to wear socks, so he absolutely reeks. He smells like a heady mixture of swampy feet and vulcanized rubber. Good thing he's cute.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Things the Kids are Saying Now

Adam: calls cement mixers "ma-ment mixers" and calls pajamas "ah-jamas."

The other day when he demanded I "turn dis off!" in regards to the commercials in a taped from TV movie, Ellie goes "it's not called turning it off. It's called 'face forward,' Adam!"

The kids have discovered some musical loves lately, thanks to my iPod playing songs at random. Current favorites are Say Liza! by Liza Minnelli and anything by Dolly Parton. 9 to 5 came on the other night and Ellie instantly fell in love - we had to listen to it a couple of times, and then I switched over to listening to only Dolly and many of the songs were big hits with her. Tonight on the drive home, lots of 9 to 5 and Ellie saying "this is my jam!' and Adam yelling "I'M JAMMING!" Ellie really likes to talk about "jams," as in the other day when we were listening to Run the World by Beyonce (who run the world? GIRLS!) and Ellie goes "mom, when you were little, did this used to be your jam?"

The kids have really enjoyed having so much great time with Grandma Rosie over the past two weeks - when they see her, they run over and demand hugs. There's been a lot of reading books together, some good arting, and some fun lunch and dinner dates. The kids are really lucky to have such a GREAT great-grandma.

They've also been playing really nicely with each other as of late. There's still screaming and squabbling, sure, but they are also finding that it's more fun to play together than fight with each other, and Tim and I certainly appreciate it!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Swinging Party.

Yesterday we went to Whitney's fourth birthday party at the gymnastics gym where she "trains." It was one of the most fun parties we've been to - the kids had the entire run of the place, as did the adults, and FOR ONCE, my kids made it more than ten minutes before they started sobbing. They actually... had fun! And played! And did something other than weeping.