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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Silly things #kids do - lunch in a bucket #parenting #motherhood #boymom #SAHM

He dumped all the cars out of this bucket and decided to eat his lunch while sitting in the bucket.

When he saw me trying to capture him doing it, he put on a great big "CHEEEEEEESE" smile.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I love how much my mom loves my son #parenting #kids #grandparents #family

You know what I love most about this?

The love you can feel from this photograph of my mom embracing my son.

She and I have always had a very close, loving, protective, respectful, FUN relationship - she's my best friend - so, it means the absolute world to me that she loves my kids as much as she does and that they have their own sweet, affectionate, FUN relationships.

Gram never runs out of hugs and kisses, high-fives, tickles nor "way to go"s and "I'm so proud of you"s. She always makes time to play one last hand of Uno and to read one last book before it's time to turn out the lights for the evening. She's so positive and upbeat and her shoulders are strong enough to carry burden you need help carrying. She loves unconditionally and will always give you more than she has for herself. My kids are so lucky to have her as a constant presence in their lives!

I also love how B - I - G my little diggy looks here.

He's so LONG, barely fitting in her arms.

He'll be out of those diapers and that "little boy" look will disappear before we know it.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Nolan is NOT starting #preschool this month... #kids #parenting #motherhood

If you haven't been following along in our Preschool journey for our youngest son, Nolan - age 3 years and 9 months, you can read all about the tours here:

Tour 1
Tour 2
Tour 3


Do you remember THIS POST where we chose a Preschool and Nolan was supposed to start this month?

We ended up not enrolling him in that school after all because exactly one week after we received the enrollment packet (30 pages worth!!!), we got the call from the Montessori school. Our #1 pick! They had space after confirming all their returning students and want Nolan to attend.

Wow. Talk about an overwhelming decision!

It's like having two job offers at once.

It weighed heavily on us for the better part of a week before we decided to go with our gut, our very first choice, the Montessori school.

It's cheaper, has much better hours, he will attend 5 mornings a week (instead of only 3 or 4), it's a much larger, nicer, newer facility, offers an extended day program (9-2:30!), AND has an accredited Kindergarten program should he not be ready to attend public school the year he is of-age. Oh! And he doesn't need to be potty-trained at all, in any way, shape or form, to attend this school so the journey to potty-train can truly be about his mental and physical development and not his age. Yay!

We mailed in our deposit this week with our signed contract and Nolan will begin in the fall, on the same schedule as our public elementary school.

We are honestly relieved to have just made the decision and to be done with discussing it. It's all-consuming!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Random #kids pics - peace signs and ankle-crossers #parenting #motherhood

My husband made a comment a few months ago about how much he loves that I have kept up with this blog all these years. Nine years to be exact.

Nine years of pregnancy, new jobs, moving, birthdays, anniversaries, death, potty-training and Preschool, moving again, pets, another pregnancy, moving a third time, holidays, our travel adventures, and all those random moments you have with your kids when you are a parent. This blog is just a giant documentation of US so we can look back on these memories when we can no longer recall them on our own.

Emily, sitting in her very old PBK Anywhere Chair with our cat, Allie:

My nearly-nine-year-old beauty. She loves that cat.

And peace signs. They pop up everywhere these days!

Nolan, banana-in-hand, mid-vehicle play (as always!):

He's been working hard on his "cheese!" so that he's ready whenever I pop up with my camera. Cutie. He needs a haircut. I swear we just got him one last month. Oy!

These photos were taken today, after we picked Emily up from Spring Break Art Camp.

Lounging in the playroom with nowhere to go and no one telling anyone what to do with their free time is what they love most these days.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

It's like "Where's Waldo?" but with a cat. #wordlesswednesday

Apparently, she scootched Nolan's cars over just a tad to make room for herself to catch the sun coming in that window above.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

#Easter2015 is all about lazying in PJs, hunting eggs, baking biscuits and enjoying the rain?!? #parenting #motherhood #kids #familyfun #sanfrancisco

Easter is all about lazying in our PJs through lunch-preparation, hunting eggs and tearing through the kids' easter baskets, baking biscuits from scratch and, this year, enjoying the rain! It's pouring out and we are loving every second of it!

In case you are looking for a few gift ideas for your kids' next Easter, here's what the Easter bunny brought the kids this year:

Emily, age 8:
Make your own bird house kit
Jellycat stuffed bunny (our favorite stuffed animal brand!)
Scratch 'n Sketch Furry Friends activity book
El Deafo and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang novels
White "teacher's chalk" and a new eraser (ours get destroyed outside every summer)
Tervis tumbler cup for her morning smoothies
A heart backpack charm
Macaroon-shaped erasers plus six glitter eggs filled with Japanese animal-shaped erasers
A Reese's bunny
An Easter balloon
A golden egg that had a $5 bill in it (at this age we are entering financial independence so money and gift cards are always a huge hit!)

Nolan, age almost-4:
Go! Go! Go! STOP!, George in the Dark, Steam Train Dream Train books
CAT dump truck for the sand box (his favorite!)
Matchbox set of nine cars
Set of nine squishy bath toys (he's still obsessed with these)
Jellycat stuffed dog (he received a bunny last year)
A golden egg with M&M's inside
A Reese's bunny and
An Easter balloon

Emily was up first, as always and showed incredible restraint and patience as she left her Easter basket untouched and had yet to begin collecting eggs from around the house.

She really enjoyed sitting in the living room, just her and I, going through her basket one item at a time.

Here, she's showing me how she can hold the egg up to the light and see what's inside it. This is how she plans to attack gathering eggs around the house to ensure she gets all the jellybeans. ha! Very clever, I've got to hand it to her.

About an hour later, Nolan woke up. I ran up to get him (see, PJs!) and he couldn't wait to start gathering eggs down the stairs from  his room. We had been talking about the Easter bunny coming and he knew that meant he would find "eggs with candies inside", as he put it.

When he made it to the living room, he let out an "oooooooooohhhhh!" at the sight of his Easter basket and immediately grabbed the dump truck.

Then he found the set of Matchbox cars, his absolutely favorite thing in the world!

His next discovery was the golden egg in his basket. He and Emily had seen that this year's set of empty Easter eggs came with TWO golden eggs and they were fixated on just how special they were going to be. Every year, we set out a basket of empty plastic eggs for the Easter bunny to fill and hide. Does anyone else do this?!? No, just me? Okay then.

He was thrilled that his golden egg had M&M's in it and prompt devoured them.

The egg hunting continued all throughout the house with Emily quickly filling her basket. She's fast!

Candy was consumed before breakfast.

Then, silly pictures were taken.

Then, I cooked our annual, traditional, Easter lunch which is a glazed ham, potatoes Au Gratin, roasted green beans, gravy, and home-made biscuits. Yesterday, I baked a sour cream chocolate bundt cake and today, Emily and I will make sugar cookies and David's going to help her make home-made ice cream.

Today is all about staying indoors and just being together.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Backyard fun: we have baby California Towhees again this year! #parenting #familyfun #kids

Talk about an exciting day: Nolan and I discovered we have another nest in our lemon tree today!

Do you see that?!?


We are fairly certain it's the same species of bird that laid eggs in this tree last year - thanks to Emily's National Geographic Kids Birds of North America Book we know they are California Towhees!

They have a really high-pitched chirp that gets louder as you get close to their nest. They also get physically closer to you, dive-bombing you in an effort to drive you away. It's quite comical. :)

I had to climb up on the kids' swings to snap a few pics as the next is about six feet up in the tree. Nolan was helping direct me.

Mom and dad stay very close, sort of popping up out of nowhere when we go into the backyard.

They really hate it when Allie gets outside. Luckily for them, she just lounges in the grass the whole time.

They also don't seem threatened by Nolan when he plays right underneath the tree - maybe it's just me...

We can't wait to see them hatch and use our backyard as their training ground when learning to fly. Last year was such a treat! Stay tuned :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekends are all about relaxing... well, that and homework, errands, and laundry :/ #parening #kids #familyfun

Until Nolan is in Preschool and I have some weekday, day time to run errands and get other stuff "done", everything has to wait until the weekend.

And I hate that.

But taking an almost-four year old who's extremely active and very easily bored anywhere other than a place where he can play is an absolute nightmare.


So, I spend the majority of our weekend running all those errands and doing household chores:

  • Grocery store - Costco and Trader Joe's
  • Returns for things we've purchased online
  • Bank - personal and for the PTA and Girl Scouts
  • Target/Home depot/Pagano's hardware - for home supplies, repairs, and pet food
  • Laundry, filling up paper towels and toilet paper, changing bed sheets, reorganizing shoes and backpacks
Lately, we've been working on incorporating more family time (rather than just me splitting off to run all the errands all day long).

The kids both have soccer back-to-back on Saturday mornings and we almost always try to go out to eat afterwards. Going out to restaurants makes Emily's Top 10 list. Probably because we never do it. There's rarely any time on weekends and David isn't home for dinner during the week. Sundays we have a big breakfast together and go to the park or ride bikes at the school or go to the pool, when it's warm.

We hit up a favorite burger joint this weekend before going to our local book store (Emily had a $25 gift card for raising the most money in her grade during the Read-a-thon at her school) and our local toy store. I snuck in some secret purchases for Easter baskets including books and erasers! What is it with elementary school kids and erasers?!?

Lots of silly, HAPPY faces were captured.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Super #familyfun with our Gram at @baykidsmuseum #kids #parenting

We purchased a membership to The Bay Area Discovery Museum recently because I found myself buying their Groupon every chance I got.

We just LOVE it there!

It's a gorgeous, quick 40-minute drive up and around the North Bay into Marin Country and very well laid out for all ages. Nolan almost always heads straight to the playground and Emily to the foam building pit. We meet up later on to visit each exhibit room as the afternoon goes on, ending with another trip to the playground before going home around 4:00pm.

Some exhibits never-change: the train tables, the outdoor foam building pit, the playground - these are the things my kids look forward to trip after trip. It's familiar to them, yet different from the normal things we do week after week.

Some things change every single time we visit: the art projects, the hands-on rooms, the great hall. These are the things that keep us coming back month after month.

We took Gram for the first time ever this last weekend while she was out visiting us.

Other than being a little bit cold (you are ON the Pacific Ocean there!), she loved it!