Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ellie-girl turns two

My sweet Ellie-girl had her birthday on Tuesday.
She's two now.
And oh what a girl.  She is almost too cute to stand.  Every day we find ourselves talking about how stinking cute she is. Gosh we love her!  She's silly and affectionate and sharing and oh so smart. 

She "reads" herself to sleep every night.
She gives the best hugs. Seriously.  Tight squeezing arms around your neck, and sometimes she pops her foot up behind her.  We like to have her hug everyone who comes over, just to show off how awesome her hugs are.
She answers "yeah" to everything anyone not in our family asks her or says to her.  
i.e.  "You're a cutie!" "Yeah."  
She has to label the "baby, mommy, daddy" of everything she sees, from characters on tv shows to pieces of her scrambled eggs.
She's talking up a storm all the sudden.  Yesterday she walked in while I was in the shower and this is what she said:
"Spilled. Milk. Couch. Did it. Nick.  Towel! Bye."
I guess Nicholas spilled some of his drink (she calls all drinks "milk") on the couch but she was taking care of it for me.  That's my girl.

And now, the birthday.
We had to wake her up. She wasn't going to get up, kept rolling over to go back to sleep, until Kent asked her if she wanted to open presents.
Well yeah!
 Her very own backpack!  Now she doesn't have to try to be sneaky and use Nicholas's when he isn't looking.

 She asked for Eggs! and Toast! for breakfast.
 "Predents! Birday!  Predents! Please??"
I told her she had to wait until Daddy got home.

 My sweet silly girl. Love that crazy curl on the side of her head.

Because I wasn't involved in a wedding a few days after Ellie's birthday (sorry Nicholas, your cake was kinda lame this year....) I was able to spend a bit more time on the cake.
 She was equally excited about a rainbow cake and a strawberry cake,
and I liked the rainbow cake better, so we did a rainbow cake.
With strawberry filling between the layers.
 We had a dinner of "Yice! Brottli! Cheese!"  (Rice, broccoli, and cottage cheese)
and then it was time for cake and presents.

While we sang to her she laughed out loud-
 Just too cute. (and my rainbow sorta flopped over.  Oh well.)
 It was all happy until the second candle-blowing out session (because why not let them blow out the candles several times over??) ended with her partially inhaling the flames.  Oops.

 But new sunglasses and a bowl full of cake made it all better.
 Dosh, Yosh, and Ra-rah came over for the party.  Thanks guys!  Ellie was so happy you were here.

Oh how I love you, my Ellie-girl!

Monday, October 28, 2013

the halloween party

 We drove up to my parents' house this weekend for a family Halloween party.  The whole family gets together for this, 
all my aunts and uncles and cousins and their kids- everyone.

Our little family dressed up as two pirates, a superhero, and a princess.
The first time I tried Ellie's princess dress on her, she wore it for hours, 
telling me all about how pretty she was and dancing and twirling and spinning.
She wanted to wear it to bed, and was devastated when I made her take it off.

So, naturally, when it came time to wear it for the actual event,
she wanted nothing to do with it.
Of course.  Because kids just make sense like that.

We eventually convinced her to wear it,
but she only kept the crown and wand for three minutes,
and the dress came off also after about fifteen minutes.

 Nicholas wanted to be superhero.
No superhero in particular, just one that wears a cape (so he can run fast and leap off couches) and a mask and a scarf on his head.

He also nabbed Daddy's pirate hook.

As for my parents and siblings,
I believe their costumes won the unspoken costume contest. For every Halloween party ever.
That's right. Princess Bride.
My mom is the costume queen.  She spends hours scouring the thrift stores and making accessories.

 Wesley and Princess Buttercup
 The six-fingered count, Fezzik, and Indigo Montoya. Isn't Indigo's wig just awesome?  I couldn't get over it!

Oh, and that rock  that Fezzik has?  My mom and I whipped that thing together in ten minutes. We made it out of a partly deflated ball, newspaper, duct tape, and spray paint.
 Miracle Max and his wife.
And yes, he does have six fingers on his right hand. Why do you ask?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

my kids and the drum set

 My brother Jonah has a new drum set.
We went up for the weekend, and my kids got to try it out.

They. loved. it.

No really, they did.
Ellie banged her little knuckles on the edge of the drum every time she hit it, 
but she wouldn't let us pick her up.
She just kept playing and crying and asking if she could play "more?"

She finally figured out how to do it without banging her fingers.
And her laugh when she hits the cymbals?  
Well I'm just going to have to get a video of it next time we're there.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

that one perfect beach day

Kent's mom took us to the beach on Monday.
Beaches in Northern California are usually pretty chilly.
But that day, 
it was perfect and warm and beautiful.

As we put Nicholas's swimsuit on at the house before we left, 
he made up a song. Complete with wiggle-dancing.

"We're going to the beach, Oh Yeah!
We're going to the beach,
in my swimming pants,
Oh yeah!
We're going to the beach."

I think he was excited.

We started with a walk along the butterfly path.  
The Monarch butterflies migrate here for the winter.  There were thousands of them! All over, fluttering past us, almost landing on our heads.  This little butterfly was resting on the grass next to the path,
and I'm afraid our kids might have injured it....
a little too much enthusiasm.
Sorry little butterfly!
There were signs everywhere to "use your butterfly voices!"
and the kids were super good at remembering to be quiet.
Ellie had her finger to her nose telling us "Shhhh!" anytime we tried to even whisper. 
She's really good at trying to be in charge.
With this many little ones, this is as good a group shot as we could get.  
At least Nicholas was smiling.....

We ate a picnic down on the beach,
because what beach day is complete without eating sandy sandwiches?
And then the kids played and played.

She kept running back and forth from where we'd set up our towels down to the water's edge.
When she'd get to the water she'd shout
"BEACH!" and laugh wildly.

Sweet baby Cole. He was such a chill guy!  
And little Audrey braved the icy water and almost got swept out to sea at one point. We had to keep a close eye on this girl.

Grammer building castles with the babies.
Kent. Digging a hole.
(And he's wearing his swimsuit instead of jeans this time! Unlike our LA trip.)

Nicholas and I hiked over to the rocks where the tide pools were.  It was really cool, and then he got to try to pronounce "anemone" when we told everyone what we'd seen.
He also thought it was funny to throw grapes and tomatoes into the ocean.
"I got the ocean! I got it!" 
As if he could miss it??
Practicing writing his name. "Nick" with a backwards N.  

There were a few tears when it was time to leave,
but we stopped at Wendy's on the way home to get french fries.
That cheered everyone up.

I got to ride in my sister-in-law Heidi's car there and back, and it was so great to have those three hours to just girl-chat.  I don't get to see any of my sisters from Kent's family very often, but every time I do, it is very, very good.

Now that we've had a day or two to recover from The Drive,
I can safely say we are super excited to go back next month.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

a roadtrip in numbers

1906:  miles traveled
29: hours in the car 
328: number of times Nicholas sang the "mean old witch with the pointy hat" song
25: average number of times Ellie asked for "DOODLES!" (noodles) or "YICE!" (rice) each time we ate out
16: laps the kids and I ran/marched around the diner in Winnemuca while we waited for our dinner.  Little legs get incredibly restless after 8 hours in the car.
20: number of "silly face" pictures I took of the kids at one point in the drive.
1: perfect day at the beach with Grammer and the cousins

2: nearly black eyes. Ellie's nose connected with the windowsill at Shannon's house. (The kids were playing and doing that laugh, you know, the laugh they all do right before someone gets hurt.) It was a serious swollen bump that night, then it slowly faded to a greenish bruise with an unmistakable purple hue in the corners of her eyes. Poor girl.

4: number of Kent's siblings we were able to see this trip.  That's all of them!
3.5: minutes it took before Nicholas was perfectly comfortable with his cousins again. They played and played and played.

1: beautiful baptism we were able to attend. Our niece, Anna, was baptized.

 2: naps Ellie fell asleep with a book in hand while we were driving.

 10: times Nicholas and Ellie fought the whole week.  This is a HUGE improvement over the normal.  Does anyone else feel like their kids actually try to fight?  Aiy!
 6: times Ellie was able to sneak away with my purse and empty it before I realized.
 4: mornings I was able to wake up feeling peaceful and refreshed as I always do when we stay with Kent's parents

1: all-important visit to the taco truck. The one that Kent has actually woken up craving in the middle of the night.

 4: visits to the Andersen Nut Company to see hardworking (and VERY busy) Papa.  It's nut season, and they work 16+ hour days this time of year.

5: delightful days spent with Grammer and Papa.
5: weeks before we get to go back again for Thanksgiving!
12: number of new DVD's we'll be purchasing before that next trip......