Thursday, October 29, 2009

Carve Away

Tonight was our designated pumpkin carving night. Joe got the kids bathed as I got everything ready-- the music, the donuts and milk (and yes, Kate is sampling the donuts for the picture), the newspaper and pumpkins...We armed Jake with washable markers so he could decorate his pumpkin and we started to rid our pumpkins of seeds. We discovered Kate doesn't really love that part. She waited for Joe to finish cleaning his up and then when he asked if she needed help, suddenly she was his #1 cheerleader-- "Dad, you're doing a GREAT job!"When we asked Kate what kind of face she wanted on her pumpkin, she motioned and said, "I want mine to look like this," and then she proceeded to pose by turning her head at a slight angle, giving a teeny smile (no teeth), and finishing up with, "You know, Barbie eyes." Of course!! Barbie eyes!! I know what that is and it's perfectly simple to replicate on a pumpkin! As long as it was girlie with eyelashes, she was happy :) Thanks for the fun night, family! I love you more than you could possibly imagine!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What is it with WIGS???

Kate really wanted to be Barbie this year for Halloween. Barbie?!!! I was never into Barbie's when I was little--I didn't like them-- the only one I owned was Barbie's little sister..what was her name...Kipper or something? And the only reason I had her was because my best friend gave her to me for Christmas. How Kate got so fascinated with Barbie and her movies is beyond me... well, I couldn't let her be Barbie for Halloween! What would Jake be-- Ken?
I convinced her that she could be a princess (in her mind a Barbie princess) and Jake would be her frog prince. So, I didn't need to get a costume for her because there are plenty of frilly things to choose from in her trunk. I did think it'd be fun to get a wig though! It came and she loved it. She wore it around the house and flipped her long locks over her shoulders...did a few twirls....she was eating it up!
Well, the time came for our Halloween carnival at church this last Saturday and when I went to grab the wig, she said she didn't want to wear it! What??? The wig makes the costume!!! Why not?
Then I was stunned-- "Because I'll look silly." My Kate, who tries to prance around in her shirt and undies in our front yard--or even worse, a princess gown with undies on her head... thinks she'll look silly? Wherever she got that idea, I have no clue. It made me sad to think that she might be losing a tiny part of childhood that I love of simply not caring what anyone else thinks! I'm hoping it was just because it was itchy and she was looking for an excuse!
Well, I made her wear it anyway... it lasted about 15 minutes... at least Jake felt like hot stuff with his head gear on! He strutted around like he owned the place! Ribbiiiiiiittttttttt on little dude, ribbbbiiiiiiitttttt on!!!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch is Perfect for Pictures

How's that for alliteration?! We headed to Joan's Pumpkin Patch in Livermore this last Saturday after I got home from work. They were only open until 6PM and we got there at 5, so we were coming as others were going.

We don't actually buy our pumpkins at the patch. It's funny because I am a firm believer at Christmas time of heading up into the mountains and cutting down our own tree--we've never been to one of those places where they have them all ready to go for you...but Halloween? I don't care as much. In fact, I'm happy to report that Lucky Supermarket is selling large pumpkins, 3 for $9.99. Amazing deal! We go to the Pumpkin Patches for the Pictures :)
Yes, he is picking his nose. And yes, I was envisioning a darling picture of my two adorable children frolicking in the pumpkins...this is all I got!

At least I can always get a pose out of Kate :)
This was a close second because Jake is finally smiling, but Kate decided she needed to study the pumpkin next to her which always makes times like these fun! Natural shots are better anyway, right?!
The kids wanted to ride the train through the corn...when we got up there, we discovered that the little blue cars were just big water barrels! I thought that was pretty creative! Only one kid per car, so we put Jake behind Kate so he could see someone he knew. They were pretty excited as they drove away! But as soon as they disappeared behind the stalks, all I could hear was "Mama? Mama!" Over and over.

The poor little thing looked a little concerned at the end of the ride. I couldn't wait to grab him out of his car and give him a big squeeze! Everything was good in the end though, because when the conductor came over and gave him an American Flag, he felt like he was hot stuff. Glad to see my little guy has patriotism running through his veins!


Fall is officially here, and so we decided it was time to take down the pool. I made the kids lunch and they were eating while I was collecting all of the pieces to the pool before packing it up. Kate was collecting ladybugs and Jake was happily playing with the noisy poles...and then I finally looked at them! Here's what I found...

Who knew a PB&J could do such damage! Not only was it all over his face and clothes, but the bread was smashed into the patio...better outside than in! The video below cracks me up every time I see it.


So, my birthday was the end of September. Joe always gives me a hard time because he says that everyone else in this world has a birthday--but I have a "birthmonth." I like to say I have a birthweek :) I made it known a while back with a red marker on the family calendar that I had to work on my birthday ;) Joe noticed,of course, and decided he needed to take action! And what action he took! I was spoiled. Truly spoiled. The weekend before my birthday we got a babysitter for Friday night. We went and got massages and then went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Our friends, the Metheny's, introduced us to the restaurant back in North Carolina, and I was ecstatic when we discovered that they had one in the Bay Area. The cinnamon butter and the rolls are to die for-- the ribs are incredible--you must try it!
Saturday morning, Alisa, my sister-in-law, came to the house and we all went out to breakfast (one of my favorite things to do). And when we came back home, Kate couldn't wait for us to go, so she could have quality time with one of her favorite aunts!
Here's where my experiment took place.
We headed down to Carmel and spent the afternoon bicycling the 17 mile drive and then ended up on the coast for dinner. I made a conscious decision NOT to take the camera. No pictures. Hence... no pictures to document the weekend. Carmel is just gorgeous-- I love everything about it. I think we would have accomplished nothing if I brought the camera, because all I have been doing was snapping away! So, I'll paint a picture... We got to listen to a man in a kilt play his bagpipes as we ate dinner and watched the sunset on the ocean! It can't get any better! Thank you SO MUCH Alisa, for watching the kids for us and thank you, Joe for a wonderful weekend!
After work on Monday, my family headed out for dinner and we came back to celebrate at our house. I love nothing more than being with my family! I feel so blessed that they are mine. So, I'm glad I didn't bring the camera, but I don't make it a habit. Joe could sense I was missing it and grabbed it when we got home and celebrated with my family-- here's a shot of my siblings-- Jen-- and Chris is on the phone :)
Spoiled? Yes, I'd say so. At least I admit it, right? I couldn't believe all of the phone calls, packages, letters, emails and facebook messages...Wow, do I feel loved! Thank you so much! It's gonna be a good year!


What can I say? It was one of those days... I think we had been up for maybe an hour and I was putting Jake in "time out" because he had wacked me on the cheek. He screamed as I put him in his crib and removed all of his precious blankets...meanwhile, I happened to see out of the corner of my eye, the elder go running down the hall. There was no skipping, dancing or singing involved, so I figured nothing good could be coming from this bolt. I closed Jake's door and had a gut feeling I should head to my bathroom. This is what I found. I wish I had a picture of the green play scissors she used to make that beautiful blunt cut on the right side right at the bottom of her earlobe. Now, granted, it could have been a LOT WORSE! I know. But I should have known this was coming. She was cutting all of her "My little Ponies" manes until the poor things were practically hairless! So, I grabbed my big orange scissors (I really do need to invest in a pair of hair scissors) and I gave her a haircut. Later in the day, I gave her another one... I think after the 2nd cut it ended up pretty cute. I figured I could attempt blending in the front-- I've seen my hair guy do it a thousand times on me!
A few days later, I was noticing how long Jake's hair was getting. See all of the stuff around his ears? I was loving his curls, but this was getting a little too shaggy. So, I decided I'd grab my orange scissors once more and give him a little trim. I forgot one tiny detail-- when I'd trimmed his hair before, I had Joe entertain Jake so he'd sit in one spot. Well, I was feeling almost as if I could do anything after giving Kate a cute 'do.

My confidence failed me and so did my orange scissors. I trimmed as Jake walked around the house... I was trying to go fast and oops! Too much off in the front. As you can tell from his face, he was a little disturbed by the whole incident :) Well, I'm not THAT good! I didn't know how to really clean up his whole head, so I took him to get his first REAL haircut. We dropped in at the salon right next to Lucky, about a 1/4 mile from our house and met Lisa, who happily agreed to fix his hair. She wanted Jake to sit on my lap because most first timers cry. I wanted to take pictures, so I said let's give it a try and see how he does...

Do you think he liked it??? The kid was smiling and laughing the entire time. He loved the razor-- lots of tickles and giggles with that one--and getting to suck on a lollipop and pick his nose at the same time?! He was in heaven! Kate was hysterical-- she told Lisa all about herself-- her friends names, what she likes to do, and the movies she likes to watch...she wondered why I didn't take her to Lisa to get her hair fixed! I finally told her to be quiet so Lisa could concentrate and she happily went and played with Rapunzel .

I think Jake was pleased with the end result.

He was walking around the house like a Big Guy and he had a little smile on his face all day. It was the greatest!

I think I'll retire my orange scissors and we'll stick with Lisa :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Look Mom, No Hands!

Yes, the most important rule in soccer-- NO HANDS--Kate has been practicing at home, because today she started a little "Kids Love Soccer" league. She along with 19 other kids go run off a bit of energy and learn how to dribble the ball all at the same time! Kate, was most excited about her pink hearts on her soccer cleats and her "funny socks" that she gets to wear.

Learning to stand on the orange line and listen to Coach Bob and Coach Katie

Go Katie Pie!

You're biggest fan, cheering you on!

True Triathletes???

A long, long, time ago, when I was a sophomore in college, I checked out a book from the library about how to prepare for an Olympic distance triathlon. When I realized all of the gear you would need, I decided running shoes were easier, so I went that route...but I never got the idea out of my mind. When we were in North Carolina, our friends came up with a great idea to rent a beach house in Emerald Isle and we'd spend the weekend and do a sprint triathlon. It was the best! We had such a fun time.
Well, one morning way back in February, while Joe was getting ready for work, I woke up to him saying in shock, "My jeans are tight!" I hadn't been exercising either...I decided we needed to do something drastic. I did a little research and happened upon the Pacific Grove Olympic Distance triathlon. We decided to go for it and the training began. After months of juggling our schedules and the kids to fit workouts in and listening to Kate and Jake giggle and fight in our bike carriage, it was September 11th, and we had dropped the kids off at my sister's house (Thanks so much, Jen!) and were sitting in our hotel room getting our transition bags ready. We crawled in bed that night and didn't sleep a wink. Yes, I'm sure that means we are not true triathletes :) When our alarms went off at 5AM, Joe and I were already awake. He ate... I couldn't. I was so nervous I was nauseous...another clue I'd never be a professional :) Thankfully, we talked our friends Mike and Carrie Thompson (who had talked us into the sprint triathon a couple of years ago) into doing the race with us. I was so relieved!!!!
Here are Mike and Joe getting dressed, pumped and mentally prepared. They would start the race at 7:30AM and Carrie and I would begin at 9AM. Notice the weather isn't that great? It was cold!!!

Do you see that water behind us? We were told we'd be doing our mile "kelp crawl" in 57 degree water. Those orange buoys out there are what we would be swimming around. Why did this sound fun?? I can't remember.

The four brave souls

Joe and Mike are down there among all of those green caps...

And they are off!!!!

Joe after the swim and getting ready to hop on the bike for 25 miles along the coast.

At this point, Joe and Mike had finished the race and was now documenting Carrie and me as we did the bike and the run.

Way to Go, Mike! Nicholas is proud of his dad, but a little confused as to why he had to wake up so early!

Carrie was flying on the 6 mile run

Love you, Joe!

WE DID IT! And the amazing thing? We all finished within 7 minutes of eachother! Despite the shockingly cold water, it was fun and we felt like we had accomplished something great.

Joe beat me by about 30 seconds... does that mean we'll have to do another one??? SOOO happy we got to do this together.