Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Video Round Up


Once again this year, Ellie is missing her dance recital, but she's practicing like a pro. The teacher had us come in and take video the other week, so that the girls could practice at home if needed. I can't get over how sweet and grown up she looks.

This past Sunday was like a dream come true - we spent the whole day at home, and the kids just relaxed with us. They played nicely together, they built a lot of Legos, they finger painted and pounded rocks outside (for serious - they'd gotten a kit with a bunch of polished rocks buried in chalk "boulders" so we gave them some hammers and they went to town for a solid hour) and allowed Tim to play Overwatch, while I sat outside and read an entire book and did crossword puzzles. And played my favorite smooching game with my favorite boy.

These videos are over a week apart, but they're wearing the same clothes, both of them. I swear they have more than seven outfits!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter, et al.

We survived the rest of spring break, thankfully by keeping busy. We went to the Y almost every day, and I was able to get a cute picture of our kids with the neighbor kids in the mustard blooms - easier than driving out to the wildflower fields. This will be the album cover for their first band.

No one is really looking or smiling! Another perfect shot!

Wednesday we were able to go with Mimi for our traditional jaunt to the mall to meet the Easter bunny. Last year, Adam was tepid at best about the giant rabbit, but this year he ran right over and gave the bunny an enormous hug. While I'm a little sad about no more crying pictures, there's also something nice about having beautiful, sweet children.

We also got to have a delicious lunch and go to the little indoor play ground, so another perfect bunny trip with the lovely Mimi.

On Thursday, our big fun was going to have frozen yogurt before picking Sara up from work.

We had some time to kill before Sara was done with work, and since the pet store in the shopping center is closed, I offered that we could walk through the hard ware store, and they were so excited that it was like I'd told them we could go to Disneyland. So many house wares! So much stuff for improving your yard!

We also spent a lot of time with the kittens.
Baby Wolf

Baby Lynx

Then, on to Easter. Last year, the Easter bunny put out a fairly well stocked Easter basket, to which Ellie responded "why isn't there an egg hunt?' This year, the Easter bunny brought bathing suits and a small item for each kid, and then hid many eggs instead. The Easter bunny would definitely rather just buy a bunch of candy than toys, especially because the Easter bunny likes to eat the kids candy after they go to bed sometimes. Don't judge the Easter bunny, he's just a magical animal doing his very best. 

They were able to go a fully 20 seconds at a time without injuring themselves or torturing each other. So great! We had brunch at Mimi and Poppy's house, and I thought we'd manage two or three hours, but the kids were having such a great time that we finally had to haul out at 4:30 for dinner with Gigi and Grizz (and because I had a side dish that I hadn't bothered to make in the morning, thinking I'd get it done during naps. Oops.) They went to bed tired and hopped up on sugar, which is the way to end a good spring break. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


It's spring break for the kids, so we're trying to keep things busy, in order to cut down on the amount of time they can spend arguing with me or bickering with each other (I can't decide which I enjoy more! All of the back sass all of the time!)

I've taken the kids to the aquarium in Long Beach a couple of times before, and every time I leave physically and mentally exhausted, because the kids have been too little, and I end up carrying one (or both) of them around, or turning my back for a fraction of a second to turn back and realize I can't find them in the maze of other small children, or them just being regular old small children who get tired and hungry and overwhelmed quite easily. This time though felt like the sweet spot. They're both big enough to walk the whole aquarium under their own power, and also big enough to not do a runner or dart too fart out of sight. We met up my old coworker Emily, her husband Brad, and their son Liam and daughter Jordan. Jordan and Ellie walked around holding hands the other time, and having a third parent with us was great in terms of managing all of the littles.

How great is this? We were on the second story, outside, petting some rays and looking at the penguins (also nice, Ellie is big enough to pet all of the animals in the touch tanks without having to be on the verge of falling in) and the sea lion show started. This big guy was up on the high stage right next to us, so they got to have a VERY front row seat to some of his tricks and antics.

Ellie, Emily and Liam, touching animals gently.

The kids loved watching the seals and sea lions, and the otters swimming around. The other thing is that the otter tank is set up with several viewing levels, and then pretend rocks in the back against the wall, which was like a rock climbing wall for small friends. Adam says that was his favorite part, of course. Ellie loved the touch tanks and and sea lions.

And then they both loved getting to pick out a stuffed toy in the gift shop afterwards.
Welcome, Spotty Spot and Winter Cloud.

My favorite are all of the sea horses and sea dragons. And I love how soft the little sharks and rays are (and yes, I'm also finally tall enough to reach in and touch them without needing a boost.)

It was really a fun day with our friends. And, though the kids didn't fall asleep on the car ride home, we all took a nap from 2;30 to 4pm, which is the REAL victory.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Activity Report.

Uff da, it's been a busy week!

Our cousins are in town from Chicago, so there's been a lot of celebrating over at Gigi's house. And at our house, having a pupusa party on Friday night, ending with some good disco ball dancing. They're a funny little foursome. Adam wants nothing more than Olivia's attention, Olivia wants Ellie more than anything, and Ellie basically wants Gigi's kittens nonstop. And James just wants to be along for the ride. Is fine if I give him a kiss attack while Kate's holding him, is horrified if I pick him up myself.

The kids are loving all of the action, and all of the attention from Gigi Ann and Gigi Lisa. John is even in town, and when I was explaining to the kids that it's Kate's brother John, not Grizz's brother John Ellie goes "oh, so baby Uncle John." Baby Uncle John it is!

Here's Ellie, tamer of ferocious little panthers.

Loving their fur right off.

On Friday when everyone was over, they got some good dress up going. Ellie wore last year's dance recital leotard for the first time since her recital pictures (please recall, was in Wisconsin and missed the recital. This year, she's doing all of the dancing, but I managed not to spend money to buy a costume we won't use.)

Then yesterday, no foolin', we were out to Redlands for Princess at the Castle at the Kimberly Crest House with Mila and Pari. The boys came too, and hung out with James and Rahim (aka the dads watched TV while the boys took a nap, and then went to a party at a coworker's house) and we celebrated our newest four year olds, as Mila is only five days older than Adam.

Princess at the Castle was even better this year, mostly because the temp was fifteen degrees cooler and I didn't feel like I was going to sweat to death. Though the day was sold out, it felt less crowded than last year, and we were in the first group to be announced, so Ellie was the second girl through the door, giving us the rest of the two hours to visit all of the activities, hang out and take pictures. A board member was able to secure decorations from a Rose Bowl float, and it was really beautiful.

Cinderella let us use her carriage

Princess school, balancing a glass slipper on her head

Catching herself a fish

Meeting a handsome prince

Her dress is a skirt that I found at a yard sale (also has a matching top.) The elastic was shot, so I made some straps and sewed in some buttons so it could be a dress. She got that little green cat as a prize from the gift shop, and I think someone hand sewed it. Ellie named it Rocky Yogi, and she loves it.

My very best girl

Pari and James have several orange trees in their back yard, so the kids had a great time doing an orange harvest and playing together. Rahim is only two, but is almost as big and as chatty as Adam. And I can't believe our March babies are already four - it seems like Pari and I should still be 20 years old, 22 at most.