Thursday, October 29, 2009

Written name

Alec wrote his name all by himself for the first time this week. He already knew how to draw a capital "A" and a lowercase, "l" and "c" we just needed to teach him about "e." He was so proud, we were/are so proud. We let him stay up late so he could practice it with paper and marker, like he asked to. Come to think of it, he's pretty good (like all kids, I'm sure) at delaying bedtime.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Car the Pumpkin

Last year in anticipation of pumpkin carving I remember telling Alec all day that we were going to carve the pumpkin that night. When we actually sat down to do it, he brought over a matchbox car and wanted to 'car pumpkin.'

This year, there was no cute word mix-ups, but we still had lots of fun. Charlie loved looking at it with the candle all lit up, and Alec only hesitated for a few minutes before putting his hand in the pumpkin goop.

We went to Ardenwood Farms on Saturday and saw a lot of farm animals up close, helped card/spin some wool, climbed up this massive hay pyramid and picked out some pumpkins. You forget how huge cows actually are until you see them up close. Alec was pretty nervous and decided to stay a few feet away from any of the fences. We did get him to pet a sheep! Charlie just had shots the other day and was pretty tired but he liked climbing on the hay. I just love fall.

p.s. I write this as Alec is trying to fall asleep upstairs and throughout the whole drafting process, I've heard the following phrases, alternated, and varied in pitch and volume:

"Mommy, Daddy, Alec, Charlie"
"come upstairs"
"I have my question, Mommy"
"come up here"
"Mommy come here"
"I got some owies on my head"

ok, well that last one is new, I better go investigate.

Friday, October 23, 2009

He's one!

Charlie had a great birthday. He loved the house decorations and loved having dinner early so we could share cake and ice cream out in the courtyard. He acted pretty chill yet slightly interested throughout the whole event. He liked wearing his party hat, he liked watching all the other kids, he liked eating cake and ice cream, and he liked opening presents.

Alec was such a nice and patient brother and behaved very well watching his little brother get spoiled on his birthday. I was very impressed.

Above is his reaction to his first big bite of ice cream. He LOVED the ice cream.

Charlie is so friendly! He likes to give hugs to good friends, and even walked up to his doctor to have her hold him! He smiles a lot and is not afraid to hold his own around big kids. If what he wants is in the middle of a bunch of rowdy 4 year olds, he'll just walk on through and even try to take toys from them. He thinks he's much older than he is and tries to do everything Alec does. He loves to walk and often just paces around the rooms holding toys or touching furniture. He goes to sleep all by himself, loves to eat crayons, chalk, sand, twigs and bark. He makes a really sad face and depressed cry when he can't have something he wants. He likes to put things in things (ex. balls in cups), push around cars and hit balls with sticks, clubs, or bats. He's handsome, sweet, daring and charming. We LOVE our little Charlie.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

tickle spot

I found Charlie's tickle spot! As we played the Wake-Me-Up-And-I'll-Tickle-You game with Alec, Charlie wanted in on the action. I gave him a thorough tickle and instead of just smiling and walking away, Charlie hunched his shoulders, curled up and laughed! It was so fun to hear. (Especially since most of the sounds out of his mouth lately have been seemingly urgent, shrill screams... teething?) The sweet spot is right on his neck/shoulders. Ahh... so rewarding. It only took me a year to find. That's right, Charlie will be 1 this week. CRAZY. Here is a picture of the tickle spot, in all its cute, baby-chub glory.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The truth comes out

It seems some of you are living in a slightly altered version of reality. I doubt I'm the "fun mom" some of you think I am. You can't believe how often I was told that I'd be such a fun mom. I was even expecting to be so. I'll be perfectly honest. Yes, sometimes I can be a fun babysitter or playschool teacher. I even will have a fun moment or two as a mother, but most of that really is just an instant while I try to get the kids engaged in something so I can finish up the dishes, check email or fold laundry.

It was actually pretty hard for me to deal with not being as fun of a mom as I'd always thought I'd be. I just don't have the energy to make those fun moments last longer than 2 minutes. Hopefully this will change. I'm trying to multi-task/work less so I can just play with my kids and enjoy them. I am working on it but I am far from there.

Least any of you think I'm looking for compliments let me say that this post is solely for being real. Truth is, I don't think I'm some super amazing ultra-fun mom. I have good days, I have bad days. I'm normal. (Well, except to you, Chris. You can go on believing that I'm the best thing in the world. I don't mind that altered reality.)

When it comes to parenting, the "fun" title goes to Chris. This dad is amazingly fun. He always (and I really mean ALWAYS) has time to repeat an action if there is a chance one of the boys will laugh at it again. He rarely tires from playing with the kids and just seems to eat up his time with them. Three cheers for Chris, the fun dad!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Once Upon a Time it Rained In Palo Alto...

Not pictured: Lunch, Making Peanut Butter Balls and Movie Time.

4 kids under the age of 4 in a 36-square-feet play area for 7 hours = creativity.

After our friends went home, we got out of the house and went to the library then played outside for as long as we could until we got all wet, about 10 minutes.

Time to snuggle inside, pants-less, under 2 big blankets and read all the new library books and count the minutes until Daddy comes home.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

blueberries, I love you

I know this isn't a food blog but I have to dedicate a post to blueberries because they are that good. Each time I have them in something I always think, "oh! this is so good, I love blueberries" like its a surprise or something. Over the summer, I bought them fresh whenever they were on sale, but the season is really short. Costco sells them frozen in a huge bag and we actually prefer them frozen for a lot of things. Here are our favorites (we usually make/eat any of these at least 3 times a week):
  • Blueberry Muffins, Pancakes, or Scones
  • Toppings for cereal (my favorite is with plain Bran Flakes or Granola... the frozen berries make the milk super cold, its so good)
  • Blueberries and yogurt (if you thaw the berries in the microwave real quick, there is a lot of liquid juice in the bowl that mixes in/flavors the plain yogurt really well)
  • Toppings for pancakes/German pancakes etc... (again the whole microwave thaw gives good juice)
  • Cup of milk with blueberries (and a dash of sugar if you need it extra sweet)... the milk gets slushy-esque when the frozen berries sit in it for a while.
  • Blueberry, can of pears, banana (optional), ice, vanilla ice cream-or-yogurt smoothie (really light and great accompaniment to cinnamon toast)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Its the end of the world

Well, not really. Alec is just not wanting to take his nap. Instead of sleeping, he'll jump up and down, make lots of noise until Charlie wakes up and then he'll climb in/around Charlie's crib playing with him. Ahhhh! So is this the end of my personal time? Luckily the answer is no. My friend, Amy, shared a brilliant space-saving-nap-trick with me. I have a linen closet at the top of my stairs that, with the door open, transforms into a cozy cubby when sectioned off by a baby gate. I've cleaned out the bottom floor and shelf of the closet and filled it with some toys and books. So now, if Alec acts up, I can transfer him to his cubbie where he can just play quietly (inevitably falling asleep) in a small space, apart from "my space" downstairs. Its wonderfully non-apocalyptic around here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Climbing Machine

Charlie is a climbing machine! His favorite feats are: the kitchen stool, Alec's trike, the bike trailer, the bathroom stool, and any kid chair. I have to be so careful because he is so fast! If I've forgotten to fold up and put away the kitchen stool RIGHT after I'm done using it, I'll usually be reminded 30 seconds later when I hear Charlie whining/grunting because he's stuck at the top. When I rescue him and put him back on the ground he throws a fit because I took him off. Silly, cute, kid. He is growing up too fast.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


We learned about caterpillars last week. Here are the kids finding out what it's like in a cocoon.

Here they're painting a caterpillar ( 1/2 an egg carton) on a leaf (paper).


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fun with Friends

There are lots of parties, now that our Courtyard Events are in full swing, plus I'm watching my good friend's little girl, one day a week. Alec absolutely LOVES it when Eliza comes to play for the whole day. He usually sobs when she has to go home.

Below is Alec on his first day of playschool this year. He was so excited and loved every minute of it. He can hardly wait for Mom to be his teacher next time.