Friday, February 20, 2015

President's day weekend

Ben had an extra long president's day/valentines weekend.  So we had five days to kill.  And in order to keep myself sane that means we need to get out of the house.  I'm not the best at home mom.  I tend to either stay really busy cleaning or just completely veg.  Either way, I'm not as present with the kids at home than outside the home doing something fun together.  We kicked things off with a trip to a local reservoir.  We had never been before and it was beautiful and the weather was gorgeous.  At first we just wondered around, went down to the docks, went off the beaten path and explored.  Than after we set off walking down the patched path for a while I got the bright idea to go all the way around the reservoir.  Needless to say two and a half hours later we emerged on the other side victorious.  I cannot believe it took us that long.  It was 2.7 miles.  And Jackson walked the whole way.  Both boys were champs and didn't complain at all and Elle either slept or scoped out her surroundings from the comfort of her wrap.  Her favorite place to be.  : )
Day 2 of break was spent in the city.  We started off our day at You Tube.  Ben is a huge fan of watching mine craft and science experiment videos.  I arranged with an old friend who works there for a little tour of the place.  The highlights included the video game room and the indoor pool in the basement.
We then headed over to Ocean Beach and I was actually sweating.  On a beach.  In San Francisco.  Kind of unheard of.  There were some great caves and the boys had a blast.  Even after Jackson fell into a little tide pool and got completely soaked.  We had to stop at Marshalls to buy him some $2 pair of Nike shorts.
After our fun in the sun we needed some refreshment so we shared a big three scoop sundae before going to the boys haircuts.  We ended our busy Friday paying daddy a visit at the bakery.  I thought we would maybe get him some dinner.  Instead the boys immediately went to work helping fold boxes and un-pan bundtinis.  After this we pretty much did nothing Sunday and Monday.  Aaahh.  A perfect long weekend.  A whole lotta fun followed by a whole lotta relaxation.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Six-months. Half a year already.

How did we get here already? Half a year old. It's going way too fast. This month my baby has truly blossomed right before my eyes. She has just about mastered the tri pod sit. Her legs need to be spread out and she kind of rests on her hands in front of her. She can only sit up for less than a minute at a time and if she gets distracted by anything than its less. But she's growing stronger every day. Sister loves toys. Prop her up in her bumbo chair or on the couch and surround her with toys and she's a happy girl. She has an excellent grasp now and can play happily for long stretches of time. She reaches for absolutely everything in her sight and loves to play with anything that makes a crinkle sound. Plastic bags included. (We supervise her well don't worry). 
While it seems like feeding guidelines change all the time, so I decided to just go with my current pediatrician's recommendation and wait to start solids till six months. So we wil be embarking on that new journey tomorrow. Wish us luck. Hopefully I'll have another good eater on my hands. Speaking of eating, Elle appears to have outgrown her spit up issues for the most part and is gaining beautifully. Her thunder thighs are awesome and I think she's my chubbiest baby yet. She doesn't have a check up for a few weeks but I feel like her weight percentile will have definitely gone up. Poor thing though is getting some fairly hard stools from her soy formula. But a little prune juice every few days seems to be keeping it in check. 
Elle is most definitely a mama's girl and is getting a lot more stranger conscious. She makes a nervous face if someone new is holding her and will stare at me to make sure I'm not going anywhere. While she loves her mama a ton I cannot make her laugh like her brothers can. They get her going so much that she can barely catch her breath. And sometimes she gets so excited by them that she lets out this loud squeal. Basically the cutest thing ever. Ben gets her going the most by playfully throwing toys at or near here. It just cracks this girl up. 
Elle is still taking two naps a day with some cat napping in the car. Bedtime routine this month was down for bed by 8 pm up for a late night snack at around 3 am and then back to bed till 7-ish. Can't ask for much more. I am hoping though that with the additions of solids we can soon phase out the middle of the night feeding. 
She's just my happy healthy baby and I couldn't feel more blessed to have her. We are besties already. 

My lovely valentines

This was definitely a fun year for Valentines.  With two kiddos in school and a little girl to dress up, I had a fun month. The celebrations kicked off on Tuesday with Ben's Valentines party.  We went with a Minecraft theme of course.  TNT poppers for the boys and gem bracelets for the girls. Ben's not really into Valentines because it's all about mushy girly stuff, but he was pleased with his Valentines.  I also surprised him and his friend, Connor with Minecraft shirts I made out of felt to wear to their class party.
For Jackson we turned to Pinterest and searched monkey valentines.  He choose the design and I swapped out the candy for mini banana bread loafs (from Costco).  Both boys had fun laying out all their Valentines when they got home and eating their candy right away (there wasn't much).
On Valentines day James was up bright and early to head to the shop (one of our busiest days).  We slept in a bit and then I gave the kids their Valentines gifts.  A plush gummy bear for Elle and big candy gummy bears for the boys, which they've been slowly eating away at.  We then went to see Daddy and got to sneak him away for breakfast.  Ben begged to stay and work with daddy so that's what he did and I got to come home and take a wonderful nap with my littlest loves.  James and I were planning on going to dinner at our club we belong too, but we were all worn out so it was Taco Bell at home instead.  James watched the NBA All Star festivities and Ben and I had movie night in my bed.  Overall a perfect day.  Especially since James came home with cake and a card (two things more than last year).  We will get a proper celebration in in a couple weeks when my parents take the kids for the weekend of my 30th birthday (yikes!)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Jackson's Wild & Three

Well my baby boy turned three on the 25th.  I have so much to say about that cute boy of mine but I'm going to leave that for another post.  I just want to get down the details of how we celebrated his big day.  The celebrating started three days before at preschool.  Per his request I made monkey cupcakes, which some people at the school thought were teddy bears.  His response was, "they're not bears, they're monkeys.  They have big ears!" (Duh!)  His little friends and new teacher sang to him while he sat in the birthday chair.  I think he felt pretty special.
Then on Saturday we ventured into the city with my family to spend the day at the San Francisco Zoo.  As the cupcakes would imply Jackson loves monkeys and so I thought the zoo would be a fun place to celebrate with family.  The weather was amazing and the kids loved all the animals.  The coolest thing was the grizzly bear who came right up to the glass wall and then started licking the glass where the kids were putting there hands up to it.
I was so glad he has both his preschool celebration and the zoo day because the day of his birthday, Sunday was a bit of a bust.  We started to get colds on Friday afternoon and by Sunday we were pretty knocked out.  We stayed home from church and just relaxed/slept most of the day.  I finished making Jackson's present (monkey PJ bottoms after my nap when I had some energy mustered up).  I didn't have any cake plans, besides we had cake twice that week already.  I felt like we needed some sort of treat and without any eggs, all we had was ice cream.  But since the birthday boy doesn't like ice cream but for some reason likes milk shakes, that's what we had.  I was feeling a little mom guilt about the day when my sweet boy said over his milk shake, "thank you my milk shake mama.  thank you my birthday."  He really is the sweetest thing.  Can't believe he's three!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tahoe NYE 2K15

We spent another fantastic New Years in Tahoe with James' family.  The whole gang was there this year and we got to spend our longest time there ever- six whole days.  It was perfectly relaxing and oh so cozy.  Once again there was not much snow.  However, we arrived late in the evening our first night and about ten minutes later it started to snow.  The boys ran out on the deck without shoes or coats on and intuitively stuck their noses towards the sky and opened their mouths wide to catch the magical falling snowflakes on their tongues.  Right when I went out to film them, Jackson ran back in stating it was cold.  Duh!  I was sorta hoping that we would wake up the next morning to a winter wonderland, but no such luck.  Which was a good thing really since the rest of the family was driving up that day.  Nothing scarier than driving in lots of snow.  The weather however was freezing cold (unlike last year), so we pretty much stayed put for two days until venturing out to Northstar on NYE for the fireworks.  
At first I was going to stay back at the cabin with Jackson and Elle, but then worried about the fit Jackson would throw and started to fell sad about us missing out.  I decided that I could get us bundled enough to stay warm.  Ironically Jackson and Elle stayed toasty, but Ben was the one who ended up complaining of cold.  Poor kid and his Hunter boots.  We double socked him and everything but the plastic wellies just didn't keep his piggies warm enough.  Luckily we only had about forty minutes to kill before fireworks, so we spent some of that time in a candy store (just keeping warm), and then bundled up and drank hot coco till the show started.  I love the fireworks at Northstar and it's been a fun tradition of ours for the last four years.  
Elle promptly went to bed when we got home but those crazy boys of mine made it till midnight.  Although I don't think they thought it was worth it.  They were pretty letdown by the countdown and sparkling cider salute (that's it, mom! that's what we've ben waiting all night for).  
The rest of our time was pretty much spent indoors playing games and watching football.  Ben converted some of the group to Minecraft and he was in heaven playing on a server with these guys.  They told me he mines like a fifteen-year-old.  I didn't know if I should be proud or worried.  Ha.  
Jackson enjoyed all the attention from everyone and all the new toys (why do kids play SO much better with other people's toys?)  Elle enjoyed taking it all in from her Bumbo chair, and getting passed around.  
Our last day it was finally warm enough to venture outdoors so we headed to Squaw for some sledding.  We got a bit of a late start so the tube sledding was sold out (which explains Ben's grumpy face below).  Grandma came to the rescue and found a plastic sled for purchase and we joined the rest of the rebels on the hill right next to the tube sledding, where a sign No Sledding was clearly displayed.  Whoops. 
Man the boys had so much fun sledding.  But man is it terrifying to watch as their mother.  Seeing your child flying down a hill at an uncomfortable speed, only a thin layer of cheap plastic between them and the icey floor.  Plummeting towards a crowd of people and trees hoping they're able to doge them all in the end and stop before reaching the pavement.  Yes see, terrifying I tell you.  Luckily they were pleased after just a couple times down.  James and Jackson were hilarious as the snow absolutely sprayed them in the face on the way down.  Jackson was all smiles coming down but then immediately stood up and ran towards me shaking off the snow and complaining of being cold.  
On the second to last night someone (ahem, me) suggested we play charades.  We were hooked and played the next night too for over an hour each night.  You forget how much fun the simple games (without cards, pieces, or boards) can be.  They've always been my favorite.  Hopefully we will make our way back up to Tahoe before next New Years (but the year always seems to get away from us and before we know it the year is almost ending).  Crazy how that happens.  At least we always have New Years.