Thursday, February 23, 2017

Nutsy Noodles.

Oh these children, what am I to do with them?

Busy day at both of their schools today. Ellie had her fundraising fun run, for which she completed thirty five laps. It's the first time she's worn tennis shoes since she was forced to wear them at camp this summer. Adam's school had a stuffed animal pet parade, which was pretty sweet, all of these goofy little kids with their best stuffed animals. Adam obviously had Lamby.

Because of Ellie's class fundraising, they were allowed to also bring a favorite stuffed animal to school today. She brought Smelly Cat along for our whole morning, and even shared some cake pop with him.

Ellie's love affair with Lulu also continues. The cat ends up in her room most days during nap time, and almost every night these days. It's sort of a sad-funny, because Lulu's totally content to hog Ellie's bed, but if Ellie pets her too much (or at all) will nip at her. Lulu's SUCH a cat. Last night while I was putting Adam down for bed, the cat did consent to a photo shoot with Ellie. I love that she's mastered both the flipped camera selfie, and the mirror selfie.

And Adam's love affair? Please witness his answers from the Valentines Day party at his school.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Valentines And More.

We had a successful week of celebrations. Valentines is always a hit with the kids, because there's candy, and Ellie loves making cards for people and illustrating her thoughts and feelings.

We had our neighbors over for a romantic fondue party. We made the kids eat grilled cheese and hot dogs beforehand so they'd be out of our way, and then I nearly started a grease fire because I've never done meat fondue before. Thankfully, our helpful friends opened all the doors and windows and took off their sweaters to help flap the smoke out. And then my house smelled like Korean BBQ for two days.

BUT! The food was good and plentiful, no one got a grease burn or a food-born illness from undercooked meat, The big hit of the night was the chocolate fountain that Lisa brought over.

THIS WAS BAD IDEA BEARS. They couldn't really reach, and they had no regard for those around them, and we gave them sharp forks. So, they stabbed things and dripped chocolate allllllll over the place, and then we finally got smart, speared and dunked some treats for the kids and made them eat off a plate. Next year, we'll put the chocolate a fondue pot, on the table, with a plastic table cloth.

Ellie had Friday off for the holiday weekend, and the kids got to sleep over at Gigi and Grizz's house and have popovers in the morning. Tim and I had a dinner date with a friend, soon to be coworker of his, and Gigi (rightfully) didn't want to be driving back and forth to our house during the heart of the STORM OF THE CENTURY! (many trees down, but we didn't lose power or suffer property damage. For other parts of the country, it was just a heavy rain. For us, END TIMES. I'm just glad the pine on the side of our house didn't go over.) Then yesterday, for fun times, we decided to take the kids to see the Lego Batman movie after nap time.

I thought it would be great - they love the Lego movie, they like Batman well enough, and we smuggled in candy, bought popcorn, and invited friends. And we had pizza afterwards! Kids announced that it was boring, they didn't like the movie, and they weren't hungry for pizza (despite whining for more snacks during the show.) I personally thought the movie was great and super funny, and my pizza was delicious. Then today, they wondered if we were going to do anything fun.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Persistence Pays Off.

Ellie and Adam had a wonderful sleep over at Mimi and Poppy's house this weekend, while Tim and I ate and drank our way through San Juan Capistrano, with much fun and two stepping at the Swallows.

Then this afternoon, after her nap, I told Ellie to go get her shoes, we were going to go practice bike riding again. There was less sobbing initially this time, though I did bring a hankie in my pocket. And I needed it. It started better than last week, though as usual, the second she thought I'd let go, she'd dump off. She was also fully willing to let me push, versus really putting some mustard into pedaling. But after an hour of back and forth, I called Tim and she proudly showed him how she could pedal ten or so feet on her own. Adam was up from his nap by then, so we threw the bikes in the car and went over to see Gigi and Grizz.

And lo, after another hour, she had the hang of it. I mean, said hour was painful, because as soon as she got close to turning by herself, she'd scream and fall over. If someone other than me deigned to touch her or offer her a piece of advice, also tears. If Adam looked at her, screeching. But she and I banged our hammerheads together and eventually got it (after reminding her that she could always stop, put both feet down and take a deep breath. Or my favorite encouragement, when she'd fall off her bike and cry and say it was stupid, I'd offer to put it into a trash bin for her, which made her so mad that all she could do was get back on and show me!) Isn't it charming how our children are both the best and the worst of us? Sorry Tim - I'm actually the worst.

This is the blooper reel.

As you can see, she's beyond proud of herself. She still hasn't figured out how to get herself started, but soon enough she'll be tearing up the neighborhood. I promised her that it'd be really fun to ride bikes with all of the other kids on Gigi's street, instead of being stuck on her big wheel. And I'm really proud of her too, though right now, my legs and my back are killing me. I was sweating like a hog - fitbit says I jogged along side of her for almost four miles this afternoon!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

New Baby.

That's right, Ellie's class butterfly hatched, so she got to spend an afternoon playing butterfly mommy while Flappy stretched out her wings (though, in actual baby news, Tim has recently gotten a flier about the Saddleback Hospital Women's Wing, even though he is not capable of carrying a baby or getting anyone pregnant, and I just got a big box of formula samples. No thanks marketers, the store is closed!)

It's all very exciting stuff! I'm bummed that not all of the class got to see their caterpillar hatch, but we have a another chrysalis in the garden that I'll keep my eye on. I went down for the count with some weird virus on Thursday morning, so Tim had to step in and be the garden parent for me, and he did well. Taught the kids all about the distribution of seeds, helped them color a work book, the usual. It's nice when everyone helps!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Fancy Lad.

I got the proofs for Adam's school photos back yesterday, and found myself doubled over with laughter in the courtyard.

Perfect, right? He's looking, he's smiling, his hair looks okay (he had some serious bed head that particular morning.) They actually got the shot, nice work preschool photogs.

Oh look, a little jazzy with the arm. Maybe ready for a fireside chat, or a call with his investors.

THIS is what sent me over the edge. Don't get me wrong, he's absolutely darling, but also, I love that they're trying to make a three year old look thoughtful. I cannot believe they actually got him to pose like this and smile.

Because THIS is what happened when we tried to snap a quick picture of four generations of Thiels. The little stink. Good thing he's cute!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Various and Sundries.

And so, a photo catch up.

The kids have been enjoying having Grandma Rosie around - Ellie got to read her a book the other day as part of her homework. The night before she'd put up a HUGE fuss about how she was too embarrassed to read out loud to her dad, but when we mentioned that Grandma Rosie knows all about teaching kids to read, she was into it. Adam mostly enjoys having someone else to show off his trucks to.

In my Rocky memorial, I was remiss in not including this gem:

Ellie held a cat party one Friday afternoon, and her sign says "Dear Cats, this is the Cat Day for you." As you can see, well attended by Gigi and Grizz's animals.

Lulu LOVES sleeping in Ellie's room, and so she's been allowed to take part in more nap times lately. Ellie probably only sleeps a quarter of the days now, but when she does nap, she makes it cute.

Meanwhile, Adam only has lamby.

And now, a series of Grizz and the children, entitled "this looks like it will end well."

Friday afternoon Grandma and I headed up to LA to see Gustavo Dudamel conduct the LA Phil at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Grams has mentioned wanting to see Dudamel since he first took over in 2009, and lo, this visit he was actually in town and conducting selections from Romeo and Juliet, so we went!

It was such a fun night. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is such a cool venue, inside and out, and the music was absolutely incredible. Plus it's always fun to take Grandma on a date, considering she spent my entire childhood taking me to whatever Laura Ingalls Wilder site I wanted to see.

Yesterday we took the kids down to the park and worked with Ellie on riding a two wheeler. It went about as well as you'd expect, considering that her bike is still a bit big for her, and if she's not great at something to begin with, she sobs like she's being murdered. Plus she's got me as her mom, so Tim basically stands back and hopes we'll knock heads hard enough to be concussed and leave him alone. But lo, by the end of it she was gliding a few feet along at a time (as long as she didn't realize I'd let go of the seat.) Everyone's got to start somewhere! Look for video of her actually riding in six months, ugh. In the meanwhile, maybe we can have some tearful high lights. Thank goodness I brought a hankie yesterday, because she was crying pretty hard over every injustice. Like her pedals, or her shoes not staying on.

In closing, here is a nature video, narrated by Adam.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Rock Star.

Rocky Raccoon, one of the sweetest cats we've ever had, the best Fancy Pigface of all, went to kitty heaven today.

He's going to be very dearly missed.