Monday, September 30, 2013

So long September!

September was a great month. I have really really enjoyed getting into the routine of school. The late bird schedule is an answer to my silly prayers... and Andrew has been seriously blessed with a great teacher and lots of new friends.

It is so fun to have school events to go to! Last week we went to the Bike Rodeo and learned all the rules of the road for bike riders.

We are also training for the school Fun Run that is this Friday. I am Andrew's class coordinator for the run... and although I'm not doing anything super awesome for it (I'm too lazy), it is nice to have a reason to get to know other parents in his class better.

Catie is still loving her little preschool. Everything that is good that she talks about she says, "I learned it at preschool." Every song we hear in the car she says she learned it at preschool, every book we read at home she says she read it at preschool, etc... she seriously is in love with her preschool. She tells everyone about it.

I am slowly making progress on organizing a new little creative space for me and the kiddos- adios guest room (aka "room we piled stuff in")! I need about a week alone to make any more progress, but at least now you can enter the room.

We created a Fall activity tree. One goal we set was to have lots of play-dates to help us get to know kids in Andrew's class. It has been really fun to invite new kids over for 1:1 play-dates. I love the chance to get to know the kids and moms outside of school. I think we've had at least 6 kids over now and Andrew keeps making new lists of kids to invite. He keeps me busy!

I decided to sacrifice one afternoon nap a week (for Ryan) so that Andrew can go to basketball. Today was his first day. It was intense. The age range is kindergarten to fifth grade with one coach and about 30 kids. Andrew LOVED it. He did not stop moving for an hour. He ran and ran and ran and then ran some more. I convinced two other moms from his class to sign up their boys, so it is fun because he has two friends in class and I have two friends to chat with while they play. Catie and the other little sibs just run around on the playground.

October is always my favorite month. We have our annual Halloween Carnival, I usually have a girls trip, and we get to celebrate Halloween with lots of chocolate... and this year we get to celebrate Ryan's first birthday!! Wahoo!

Bring on October!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mom's Day Out in San Francisco!

Yesterday I was super lucky and got to have an entire day to myself! 

My blogging friend Kim was visiting from Florida and we needed to have a meeting and chat time, so I left the kiddos with Kevin and got a much needed entire day of fun exploring in the city!

It was so weird to drive across the new part of the Bay Bridge

Our first stop was the Presidio for a little hike. It was cool to explore the "Wood line."

Next we headed to Barneys in the Marina. Liz Balena and I have been there before and the spicy curly fries are super yummy... so I needed to go back. I maybe should've picked somewhere more authentic to the city, but I loved the relaxed environment... and all the fries. :) We sat and chatted for a long time. The only lame part was that they only sell Pepsi now :(

After Barneys we drove around and went to Tartine Bakery for some yummy brownies. 

We hiked up to the top of Dolores Park with our brownies to check out the awesome view and then had some blogging pow wow time... while eating our brownies. Totally my favorite way to do business. ;) 

I enjoyed every minute of my drive home with no backseat screamers and was greeted by happy kids who had had a great day with their rock star of a dad!

The day off was exactly what I needed after almost 11 months of never being gone for more than 2 hours from baby Ryan. It was good for both of us!

Can't wait for my next Girls Trip when Elise comes to SF to visit me in a few weeks!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Love this kid- Ryan almost 11 months

Ryan will be 11 months old in a little less than a week. I need to start giving him shrinking pills. He is growing too fast.

He is adorable and happy and pretty easy going. He will just go into the playroom by himself and play for 20-30 minutes (as long as none of the big kids are nearby). 

Sometimes he gets himself into some predicaments he can't get himself out of...

He loves to climb, crawl, push, pull up, grab, yank, and scratch. Keep your hair away from him!

Little dude is super smiley and quite the charmer (unless I pass him off to someone new)

He loves exploring... and is one of the reasons we now have a TV up much higher than before

Lately the little dude has learned a few new tricks. He can wave, he is attempting to blow kisses (though usually smacks his head with his hand instead of his face), and tonight Andrew and I think we heard him say "bye bye" (his first word).

Little dude already likes to get into trouble and be where the action is... 

Exhibit A: glass all over our floor this week when he pulled a lamp down and it sent glass flying all over the family room...

Exhibit B: not proving to be much of a rule follower... going up the slide is always more fun

He also has quite expensive tastes when it comes to teething toys...

This dude sure does keep us on our toes! Can't wait to see what is in store for us as this kiddo gets bigger! We sure love him!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Back to School BBQ

Last night we had our annual neighborhood Back to School BBQ. It was so much fun and honestly didn't require that much work other than collecting lots of money and orders over the past few weeks. I love being the social director and getting to meet all the fun people who live in our neighborhood!

We hired Fuddruckers to bring their catering truck again and it was a hit. My favorite part was that this year they also made grilled cheeses and had their special nacho cheese sauce for the french fries. I was IN HEAVEN eating unlimited french fries. If only they'd had a diet coke fountain drink machine... (next year)

Kids swam in the pool, played at the neighborhood park, and jumped in the bounce house that we rented... and the adults just had fun chatting.

We enlisted some special kid helpers to monitor the bounce house and enforce the rules (so we could enjoy the party)... and I made sure that every once in awhile there was bouncing time just for the 2-3 year olds... which meant that Catie got several opportunities to bounce with only 1-2 other kids inside.

We had a dessert potluck, which meant that we had tons and tons of dessert options. The kids were in heaven. 

Ryan had fun roaming around with me, stealing my food, trying to eat tan bark, and saying hi to lots of guests. I didn't keep a close watch on the welcome & check in table, but I'm pretty sure we had well over 200 people at the party this year (compared to about 160 last year). It was cool to see so many kids of all ages having so much fun! 

Once the clock struck 7:45pm... Kevin took the littlest kiddos home and Andrew got to stay to hang out with me till the party ended. He had a blast roaming around with his friends and hanging out in the hot tub with some older kids just listening to them chat. He thought he was pretty cool. It was adorable.

(ignore the fuzziness... someday I'll figure out how to use my camera at night properly)

After I paid the Fuddruckers guys and bounce house guy and we picked up tables and trash... we finally made it home around 9:30pm! Man was I tired! 

So fun to host another successful event! Kara, Sahar, and I never managed to grab a photo together since during the daylight I was chasing my crazies around... but I really appreciate having such helpful friends as my party buddies!

A Week of Firsts

We had several firsts happen this week.

On Wednesday Catie had her first day of "preschool."

I put preschool in quotes because mostly it is an opportunity for moms to get a break and kids to get some socialization and it isn't anything super structured or organized. Either way, she loved it.

We had a little photo shoot before we went. Catie is in dire need of a haircut... can you tell?

You can read about part of her preschool experience over on my Toddler Approved blog.

It ended with her slipping down the stairs and bonking her head... so if you ask her what she did at preschool that is the most important thing that she remembers. She also got to touch the chickens at my friend Jen's house.

She didn't cry when I left her and was mostly well-behaved during school... so we got to get slurpees afterwards on our way to go get Andrew at school. We also celebrated her big day with a trip to Super Franks.

While she went to preschool, Ryan and I did an hour and a half run/walk on the Ironhorse trail. It was perfect.

Another first this week was that Andrew learned to jump rope!

The PE teacher taught him hoe to jump rope and then when he got home after school and wanted to show me, I made him a cheap-o jump rope with string, felt, and duct tape. 

My favorite first from this week is that Ryan learned to drink from a sippy cup.

It has almost taken 11 months for him to drink from a bottle or a sippy. I am so stoked that he will now. I can smell my freedom!

Lastly, Andrew had his first kindergarten playdate.

There are SO MANY nice kids in his class that I think we may just have to go through the entire class list and invite every boy in the class over... and maybe even some of the girls?

Today Andrew had his friend Nate come over. Catie had fun while he was over too... which is always an added bonus.

Can' believe how quickly these kiddos are growing up! Love them!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekend Project

Our poor kids never got to leave the house on Saturday. We spent Saturday cleaning the house, organizing, and moving furniture. We are selling our big old TV and several other pieces that go with it and we got a new flatscreen that goes above the mantle.

Here's what our house looked like with the old set up

old set up

old set up

Here's how it looks with the new set up. Disregard the junk on the shelves. They are now clutter free, but I never snapped another photo.

With the giant TV and speakers gone and the couches moved we now have way more space in our family room.

I am having fun brainstorming what to eventually do in the new big empty space by the windows. I feel like the family room is a completely different space. Re-organizing is so fun! If only I could get myself motivated to finish re-organizing the garage, spare room, and my closet! (hopefully this week)

I am also brainstorming all of the things I will do with the windows once Ryan pulls all the blinds down. I am secretly hoping he does it sooner rather than later... our blinds are HIDEOUS.

Do you have a window treatment that you like for over sliding glass doors? I need ideas!

In other news... if anyone wants a treadmill... I am selling mine. It has been used maybe 6 times. I will agree that it was a bad investment. I'd much rather run outside in the beautiful CA weather than inside.

Fun Friday and De-Junking

Last week was exhausting. I don't really like having a set schedule every day. I did not sufficiently enjoy our lazy days when we could all stay in pjs till 12pm. Last year Andrew didn't have school till 12:30pm which was totally more my style. Fortunately we found out he is a "late bird" so he doesn't go to school till 9:20 starting next week- hooray!

Once Friday hit we needed to celebrate surviving the week!  

In addition to making cookies we did lots of playing and lounging around in the afternoon. We had a fun pool playdate with a friend and then Andrew ended that with a giant tantrum because it was so hard to leave! I would much rather have him throw a tantrum after a playdate (with me around) than throw one at the beginning of the school day AT school... so I tried not to be overly annoyed with him. Kindergarten is tiring! I volunteered in there on Friday... so I know! 

I also spent Friday afternoon sorting through Andrew's worksheets and stuff from the week. I was pretty impressed with his coloring considering he's done a coloring page maybe two times ever. Usually he'd rather draw his own design (like make this calendar into a Star Wars ship or something) so I was impressed he actually colored it. Kindergarten sure does have a lot of coloring!

This is the lovely cutting/coloring project he had to bring home last week because he was too busy chatting to finish it. I sent it back in and his teacher was proud :) I was proud too... I don't think I would have the patience to color an entire paper with blue crayon like he did... and he did it quickly and without complaining.

They are making loads of mini books in kindergarten that they bring home and share with us and read to us. My favorite is the Mr. Book. It tells all about how not to read a book- crumple the pages, spill on it, etc. I think I am going to make my own version for Catie :)

Once I snapped photos of some of Andrew's work, I threw some of it away. Not these things... but several of his math worksheets and other coloring projects.

Am I a terrible mom? I don't want the clutter and don't want to save worksheet pages. Do you keep everything? What do you save? What do you toss? He brings stuff home every day.

In addition to de-cluttering, the kids had quiet time, I did blog work, and Ryan napped. When they were done playing separately, they went into Catie's room and played Legos nicely together for 30 minutes. I actually fell asleep on the couch and took a nap. It was insane and felt great. Ryan is up at night tons lately with teething and just bad sleep habits and I'd gotten up at 5:45am to go running... so apparently I was exhausted by the afternoon!

After naps/quiet time we ate cookies. This sneaky little devil found a chocolate chip somewhere on the floor and scarfed it right down.

The rest of the afternoon was spent lazily playing around the house and then cleaning up the mess. I love this gif of Andrew and Ryan having a tinker toy light saber battle. It cracked me up.

I think Friday is going to be my new favorite day of the week! 

September Sibling Dinner

The past week has been crazy with new schedules for our family so it was nice to return to a familiar tradition. One of my favorite traditions we started last year were monthly siblings dinners since Scott & Cat & Jessie all live in the Bay area now. I am looking forward to continuing the tradition this year!

This month we hosted a BBQ at our house and everyone brought some yummy food to contribute.

My kids had so much fun goofing around with their cute cousin Sophie!

Jessie loaded us up with fruit & veggie goodness and Ryan made sure to get blueberries on pretty much every part of his face and hair. Jessie also brought a homemade peach pie that I forgot to take a picture of!

Kevin made us Buskirks Burgers (and grilled cheeses) with his special homemade BBQ sauce. Cat & Scott brought homemade banana bread, burger fixings, and way too many delicious types of chips. Tonight I learned that Andrew is a chip addict like his mom.

I went the extra mile and provide paper plates, plastic cutlery, lots of diet coke, and a store-bought chocolate pie. ;) I thought about baking a good dessert and pinned a few... but in the end I expended too much energy being grumpy today so it didn't happen!

Having everyone come and join us for dinner was the perfect end to the day! 

Can't wait till next month!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Surviving Kindergarten

Last Thursday night I posted that "we've almost survived our first week of kindergarten."

I should've said "knock on wood" before I posted that.

Friday turned out to be a crazy day. By 8am Andrew had fallen up the stairs when goofing off with Catie and whacked his mouth leaving himself with two fat lips. Poor kid was really upset and even when the hurting stopped he did not want to go to school.

Eventually I got everyone dressed and out the door. When we got to school he was late, so we had to go get a late slip at the office (which meant lugging all three little people across the school to the office and then back to class). On the way to the office I noticed my foot and leg covered with water. I quickly discovered that an entire water bottle had leaked in the bottom of Andrew's kindergarten bag... and then onto me. Sweet.

Once we got to Andrew's classroom, he refused to go in. At first he just cried and was sad. I tried to hold his hand and walk him in, but he wouldn't budge. In the end, his teacher carried him crying into class while he practically pulled the buttons off my back jean pockets trying to hang on to me.

I was sad. I burst into tears on the playground when talking to a mom I didn't know (Andrew had punched her child the day before). Then once we almost got to the car I realized I had forgotten to add Andrew's snack to his bag... since it had been full of water.

I raced back across the schoolyard to add his snack to his bag and managed to run into a basketball hoop and smack my head. The bump immediately swelled up and left a goose egg on my head.

I walked back to the car with my two little kiddos and sobbed and called Elise.

Then I went home and ate chocolate with Catie and watched shows while Ryan slept. Two hours later I emailed the office secretary at school (because I was stressed that Andrew might still be having a tantrum). She emailed me back and checked on him and told me he was fine 2 minutes after I left school.

Hooray! After wasting two hours being stressed and sad, I finally got off the couch and did the dishes and was productive. Catie was inventive while I was distracted and made a cupcake craft and did some climbing.

When I picked Andrew up from school he was beaming. He was so proud of the great work he had done at school. He didn't mention a thing about being sad or having any problems earlier in the day.

We hurried home to have our twin buddies from kinderprep over for an afternoon playdate. My head was aching from all the stress from the morning so we played and had popsicles and ended the day with loads of fun!

Thank goodness!