Thursday, March 31, 2011

Light it up

In honor of Autism Awareness month in April and World Autism Awareness Day on Saturday, I have been working on making some blue t-shirts for Andrew and Caitlin to wear this weekend using freezer paper.

Light it Up Blue is a campaign to raise autism awareness and several prominent buildings in the US will be decked out in blue lights. I decided to deck out the Gold Gate bridge in blue... since we live in the Bay area... (and no I didn't make a mistake, I like the sponge painted look... it looks like a blueish fog)

Andrew's version of the shirt will be a little different... and is still in progress, because I'm going to have him help me finish it.

We'll post it, along with some of my blogging partner Etta's creations, on my Toddler Blog possibly later this weekend.

I was pretty proud of my first attempt at freezer paper stenciling... and since paint is more my medium than fabric... I will probably be doing more of this in the future since I like it way better than sewing things onto onsies!

(If you haven't ever done freezer paper stenciling, definitely check out these sites here and here for good advice and ideas)

Bring on...

- Preschool!

I finally figured out where Andrew is going to preschool next year... so now I've moved on to making sure he has a great place to go for PreK. We spent the morning observing a PreK program and Andrew got to participate for almost 2 1/2 hours. Man! I am exhausted... and I wasn't the one doing any work!

We learned about dinosaurs and did a few projects. We also got to be part of circle time. For the dino project below, all the kids cut out all their own dino bones (Andrew's were pre-cut bc he's not as old and not a proficient cutter yet) and then they glued them on. I think Andrew takes after his mom & dad with a little OCDness... his were almost perfectly placed. :)

He also got to paint dinosaur imprints and dig for dinosaur fossils outside... in addition to observing a lot of reading work, reading stories, and singing songs. Andrew held it together for almost the entire 2 1/2 hours which was also impressive... bc the class required a lot of sitting and paying attention. He and his friend who we went and observed with were getting pretty squirmy by the end, but did pretty well considering all the other kids will be in kindergarten next year. I think we might have preK for 2012 picked out already as well. Yay!

- Easter!!

I hung out with these crazies last night and we made...

these cute newborn hats for Oakland Children's Hospital and Alta Bates. Wish I was having an Easter baby! We just couldn't stop saying, "they are so cute!" We're finishing almost 200 of them this week so that the newborns can wear them all April long. :)

We rewarded the crazy girls with a trip to Cold Stone after all their hard work :)

- Spring!

It is in the high 70s/low 80s here today... so we whipped out our shorts and skirts and polos. Wahoo!!

Baby Cate's sandals with little flowers on them are so darling... and I love her little chubby legs and arms!

So glad for once that I bought Andrew's new Spring/summer clothes before the heat started... so we actually had clothes in his size for him to wear. We're heading to Arizona in a week or two, so I figured we needed to get stocked up on madras shorts and polos. Wish I'd snapped a picture of Andrew in his new shorts before he painted on his outfit and dropped lunch on it! Ah, such is the life with a 3 year old boy!

We are excited to bring on preschool, spring, and Easter... but not excited to bring on growing up! I want my kiddos to stay this age forever. Yesterday some super mean boys threw rocks at Andrew, called him a girl, and when they threw rocks, he fell down and bit his tongue hard. He won't eat anything today and is really emotional. I am giving him tylenol round the clock. Poor little guy can be really sensitive and just didn't understand why the big kids were so mean when he didn't do anything to them. I am NOT excited for what lies ahead as he starts going to school and encountering means kids (and hopefully not turning into one!).

Now, let's bring on my break! Two kiddos are sleeping and it's time for some Cadbury mini eggs a little diet coke :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hair today... gone tomorrow

Poor baby Cate only gets put in cute outfits probably every other day or so (if even)... and the rest of the time she lounges in PJs with me... so I usually take a photo just to prove that I did something that day (since there is a lot of other stuff around the house that has gone undone- like the huge pile of my clean clothes stuffed in my closet :))

The cutie pie is getting quite a receding hairline. With Andrew we just shaved all his hair off when things got ugly... but I think with a little girl we might just have to grin and bear it and keep sticking in cute hair clips? Cate rubs her head like she's rubbing a magic lamp and hoping a genie will pop out... so it is only a matter of time before all the hair is gone in the back too.

I got her this cute outfit at Outrageous Outgrowns a few weeks ago for $3 (brand new). I'm not going to do a post on my haul because if you see it you might agree with Kevin that I went a little overboard on girly dresses. But, as my friends said on Sunday, "It's not like she can wear the same dress two weeks in a row!" :) (or ever... I think she's set through July)... plus they agreed with me... a gazillion dresses at OO = 3 fancy dresses that I would've bought... which seems like a good deal to me. A girl can never have too many cute clothes, in my opinion. I told Kev to just get used to it. :) It is going to be a lifelong problem for as long as we have little girls. They are just too fun to dress up.

Plus, I'm living vicariously through her. We all know I wear 1/3 shirts every Sunday (that are all black!) and I just mix the skirts around... but haven't gotten a new one in forever... shopping is too painful for me because I am too picky.

I do need a fashion intervention sometime soon though...

In the meantime, little Miss Cate will be getting a lot of photo shoots and I'll be sticking to staying on the other side of the camera!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Highlights

Nothing that interesting happened this weekend... unless you count me practically eating a 1/2 a pan of scotcheroos exciting. :)

I spent a lot of time hiding in our bedroom editing video for a church event while Kevin wrestled the little people downstairs.

Caitlin of course took the opportunity to roll over for the first time while I was upstairs.

One time was a cheater roll (Kevin positioned her arms so it was easier for her), but 2 times were legit... and I missed them all.

We're hoping she starts rolling soon so she starts burning some calories... my arm practically fell off today when I was holding her. One girl at church said, "Whoa... is that the same baby?"

She is the belle of the ball at church though and the girls all think she should be a chunky Gerber baby model. :) She is one of two babies right now... so she had about six young women vying for her attention this afternoon and taking turns keeping her happy and entertained.

Our family is also trying to set a record for how many nights in a row we can have pizza for dinner.

The excitement never stops over here people ;)

Happy Weekend! Here's to hoping yours was a little more eventful.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sorry fans

We made it home for the end of the BYU game on Thursday and Cate got decked out too late to save the Cougars.

But not too late for a photo shoot with Andrew :) It was just going to be her... but he hijacked her photo shoot. He's grown out of all of his BYU gear though... so we'll have to stock up on our trip to Utah in a few weeks.

This is how we felt about the results of the game... especially me, since my March Madness bracket is now toast.

Duke lost on Thursday too :( There is no way I can win our ESPN bracket pool now. I may still beat Kevin though... and that is my goal every year... and I think it happens every time. He takes all this time to make his picks, I take 5-10 minutes, and I win. Hopefully that's how it plays out again this year. :)

Hands off!

You know you've been stuck inside for too long when you almost take out a 10 year old at the bowling alley.

This is Kevin smiling. He tried to keep me calm, but hey, the only excitement we've had all week has to do with potty training... so I needed some drama.

The pictures below are of bowling. Again. If I could get $1 for each time I've set up bowling pins this week I would be a millionaire. Not kidding. Anyways, little dude earned a trip to the bowling alley for some potty training success. I won't be documenting much about potty training here on the blog other than to say that our home is a war zone. ;) Nothing is sacred any more. Everything is a positive reinforcer and everything is earned. I love the method we are using. It is very positive and little dude is very proud of himself. It is also exhausting.

Back to the bowling alley.
Friday afternoon is laser bowling. Today we got seated next to a b-day party of 10 yr old boys.

Remind me never to have a bowling party when Andrew is 10... at least if he has hyperactive friends.

This is Andrew's special bowling ball. Size 6. Perfect for the little dude. Specially given to him by the front desk for HIM.

Notice large boy in the background in the blue shirt.

His goal of the afternoon was to steal Andrew's ball. Purposely? Not sure. I told him at least 5 times to leave Andrew's ball alone and go find a big kid ball. After me saying that at least 5 times, he still said to Kevin, "Can I have my ball back now?"


I told his mom to tell the kid to leave Andrew's ball alone. She did and apologized.

Little beady eyes watched me every time Andrew's ball came up the ball ramp and would wait till I wasn't looking to TAKE Andrew's ball. Sometimes he even took it while I was watching him and then acted so clueless when we asked for it back. C'mon kid. Seriously?

Andrew started bringing his ball back to his seat with him. I'm not crazy and I don't have anything against sharing... but the kid would take Andrew's ball and go all over and not bring it back... so I encouraged the hoarding. If you ask Kevin he might actually say it was my idea :)

I finally pulled the kid aside in front of his friends (after an hour of being annoyed) and told him to leave Andrew's ball alone and that it was a baby ball. He should be using a big kid ball. That ended it. He didn't want his friends to think he was a baby.

Meanwhile this little one slept and slept... and I fumed.

I thought it was hysterical that I got so annoyed by this kid. Ugh! Kevin thought it was even more funny.

Let's call it pent up potty training aggression. I can't take it out on Andrew... so this bowling alley kid got the brunt of it.

I was definitely celebrating with the birthday boy when all the 10 yr olds stopped bowling and went off for cake and ice cream.

TGIF! I think I might need a day off tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bad Bunny

Some of us have been feeling a little bit like this at our house this week...

Part of that could've stemmed from a little cutie's not so stellar sleeping while daddio was on a business trip to Oregon for half the week.

She's just too cute to be mad at for long.

She made leaps and bounds of growth with language and motor skills this week though... so I can't complain...

- she's attempting to roll (big news for our little chunker who was looking like she'd be content to just hang out forever)

I could listen to her chatter all day (and do!)

- non stop talking (today she chattered at me for 30 minutes of our run... loved it)

- lots of playing with toys and talking to them (although she is much more people centered than Andrew ever was)

- lots of crying if mommy or any person is out of sight. Andrew is my perfect stand in. If I have to run to get something I tell him to come make Caitlin happy while I go do it... he loves being a helper and making her smile. She loves his dancing, singing, and talking... Ah, looking forward to the day that she no longer wants me and only wants to play with him :) freedom! j/k, I will be SO SAD when that happens (kinda).

- sneaky houdini... loves to escape from her swaddle... and we even double swaddle her at night... it is going to be a sad day when we say goodbye to the miracle blanket, but I feel like it will be happening soon. :(

Here's to hoping we survive the rest of the week...
These babies are a big help at the moment- my reinforcement for carrying on :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome Spring

We did our usual Sunday photo shoot this morning... and Cate was really excited about her pink bunny!

Andrew had fun helping Caitlin with tummy time and some games this morning as well. We played Andrew vs Caitlin soccer (using racquetballs). I helped her legs kick the ball. She scored a lot of goals. He thinks she is the coolest sister ever now!

She also loved sitting in her crib staring at her mobile.

We are excited that Spring is coming... although the windy, rainy weather is making us a little skeptical that it will be arriving soon! It is so nice to have a reason to stay inside in pjs and cuddle up though, so we haven't minded too much!

We are also a little concerned because our Cadbury mini egg stash is gone... as is our emergency mini egg supply. :(

The question is... should we restock tomorrow?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sweet Sixteen of a Saturday!

I sorted through Andrew's baby clothes this afternoon and found several BYU shirts from when he was Caitlin's age. We decked her out just in time for the BYU vs Gonzaga game... but had to add a few pink accents. :)

She wouldn't take her eyes off the game to give me a smile

This was the best that I could get... before she went back to staring at the TV.

She stayed pretty happy, until Jimmer missed a 3 point shot.

I would've gotten some pics of Andrew, but he was more intrigued by his bowling game than the basketball game today...

That is... until I started taking mommy & Caitlin photos... and then he had to push his way in to join in the fun :)

I love this boy more every day... but today I thought he was extra adorable because he just kept kissing and hugging Caitlin and making her smile

What a sweet little brother! She gets more kisses and hugs at bedtime than I do now!

After a few shots, he got bored and went back to bowling... and I got my mommy & Caitlin shot.

I also got a photo of my favorite new accessory... can you see my new necklace behind Caitlin's head? I love it! It is about time I jazzed up my boring outfits a bit. I earned it for successfully helping Kevin have an awesome shopping trip today with both kiddos in tow. He got lots of new birthday shirts at Banana and I got a necklace and a cookie. A great trade. :)

So not only was the BYU game great (the Cougars are going to the Sweet Sixteen!), but the rest of the day was fabulous too.

And this little gift came in the mail for Caitlin this afternoon. My friend Etta has some great taste. I think Cate might need to wear this when we go to some of Elise's lacrosse games next month.

Thanks Etta!

Happy Saturday!! Hope you all had a great one too! Go Cougars!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Finding Joy

I read this quote today on a blog that I love, written by a family friend who is going through some intense adversity lately:

“We are all in this together. We need each other, Oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old, need you who are young. And, hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old. It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. ” - Marjorie Hinckley

I love it. What a beautiful thing to remember. I was thinking this exact same thing last night as I fell asleep.

We had the birthday celebration for our church's Relief Society Organization last night. Kevin has been in Kentucky this week, so I wasn't planning to go. They ended up having babysitting at the church though, so Andrew went and hung out with some awesome men (and had so much fun he didn't want to go home after 2 hrs)... while I went to our RS dinner and speaker.

I was reminded how much I love the RS and the amazing women around me as I sat eating dinner. The gym was decked out with gorgeous decorations and then the men served us while we chatted with friends. They even brought us extra homemade rolls without us even having to ask, yum! :)

My friend Tiffany (who lived in Santa Clara with us and then moved to the East Bay the same time as us), came and stole Caitlin from me once she was finished eating. What a thoughtful thing to do! I got to eat with my hands free for once :) and Caitlin got to go meet lots of new friends while Tiff walked her around. She has her own 4 kids at home and could've just come, relaxed, and enjoyed a break... but instead she took a moment to give me some time off.

After dinner we listened to the matron of the Oakland Temple speak. She was beautiful (inside and out) and kept us laughing. I felt so inspired by her. She talked about doing hard things. She talked about her life as a young stay at home mom with crazy kids. She talked about finding joy, especially during hard times. I held little Caitlin on my lap and couldn't remember when I'd last really had a "hard time." It hasn't been possible with such a joyful little girl in our house. Even Andrew can't help but be dazzled by her smiles.

At the end of the evening, two of my very dear friends insisted that they help me wrangle Caitlin and Andrew to the car. One carried my massive diaper bag along with her stylish purse and she looked like she was about to topple over. The other buckled a screaming Caitlin into her carseat and helped me bribe Andrew out of the fun room with all the cool men and she held his hand as we walked across a busy parking lot. These women both had their own kids at home and their own busy schedules (one has five kids, ages 4-17, and another has 4 teenage daughters)... and could've rushed home or stayed chatting with other friends... but they took a moment out of their evening to look out for me.

I love these women. The ones who helped me and the other ones that I got to spend the evening chatting with. I am amazed by them. I am so grateful that my friends aren't just all 31 just like me and in the same stage of life as me. Women need women. I need women who are older than me to teach me to be a little less selfish and to see the world with a broader perspective. My time as a mom with young crazy kids is brief. I need friends who are younger than me to help me stay fun and energetic, and to teach me to be more balanced. I love being a member of a women's organization that isn't grouped by age or stage. I don't necessarily think that I sometimes add much to the group, but I genuinely look up to the women that I am blessed to be around and only hope that I can be as pretty, put together, organized, knowledgeable, service oriented, and loving as they are... some day. If anything, each week as I interact with them, they inspire me to try and little harder.

That was my moment of joy for the week. It is easy to forget such simple things. I need to try and remember them and write them down more often. Hopefully they can remind me to help more, instead of always feeling like the person who is "helped."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lucky Us!

One of my favorite things about where we live is all the fun moms that I get to hang out with. It is rare we go more than a day without seeing one another... so these kids almost feel like family. Today we threw a St. Patrick's Day party (now an annual event, pics from last year are here).

We held the party at our church so that we didn't have to destroy anyone's house. :)

My friend Cara started off the party by helping the kids make paper plate rainbow shakers.

Andrew actually made his mostly by himself. I was impressed. I think it helped having a focused crafter next to him :)

The kids ran around with their rainbows (and put the plates on their heads) and then we hung them around the room as decorations while we moved into eating treats and playing some games.

The menu was green. I made our lemonade green with blue and yellow food coloring while a few kids watched. They thought it was magic and were amazed.

Cara made jello jigglers that spelled "St Patrick's Day" and somehow all of the letters corresponded with most kid's names... so all the kids thought she'd made them their own special name jiggler. Andrew ate an A, Dylan ate a D... and so on. They were so excited!

After some snacks... mostly green treats for my kid, we played some games.

Chrissie organized "Pin the shamrock on the Leprechaun" and "Hot Irish potato." Isn't she an awesome artist? He was even life size ;)

This was the extent of blindfold wearing Andrew would do. It was off in 2 seconds...

So he had to close his eyes on his turn. I was impressed that he didn't try to cheat.

The kids had fun watching each other for a little while... and then they got distracted by all the toys in the nursery and went off to play so that the moms could chat!

Cate slept and then just hung out with the moms.

She loved getting passed around, watching the kids, and meeting some new friends.

What a fun morning! I'm still not quite sure why we celebrate St. Patrick's Day (and I know I could read about it... but haven't done that yet this year), but I sure do love a reason to get together, have a party, and hang out with friends (new and old). I think we had 9 moms and 14 kids this year, which was an even better turn out than last year!

Throwing parties with other fabulous people who put 100% + effort into making it great is also awesome!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! We feel so lucky to be blessed with so many wonderful friends!