Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sea World's Spooktacular

Last year, my mom and I took the boys to Sea World's Spooktacular for a little Halloween fun, but it wasn't all that great since we went in the morning before nap time and none of the Halloween stuff started until the afternoon. So this year, we decided to go in the afternoon and John said he wanted to come with us. Well, this was quite the proclamation since John is not a fan of theme parks, nor is he a fan of crowds... but since I take the boys there so often, he said he wanted to come and see what we do when we're there.

Turns out a lot of people had the exact same idea we did. There were HOARDES of people going to Sea World at the same time as us and, unfortunately, a lot of them needed tickets like John did. So, we stood in line.

And stood in line some more.

And stood in line some more. We were there for about 30 minutes before John FINALLY got to purchase a ticket... and that's when we found out that they weren't doing the Fun Card thing anymore. We were thinking that if John bought a full price ticket it could be used for a full year since we're SoCal residents. Negative, ghost rider. But by that point, we were sick of standing in line in the sun with hundreds of other people, so we coughed up the $65 (even WITH my discount) and went inside.

There were a few highlights (as can be seen below), but mostly the boys were irritated with the sheer amount of people at the park. They are used to having the run of the place since we usually go on weekdays, but it was very different on the weekend for Spooktacular. There were lots of tears when John had to explain to Johnny that he had to wait in line for his favorite things. And then we had to keep them close to us since they could get lost in the crowd. There was a particularly harrowing moment when my mom, John and I lost sight of Johnny at the Bay of Play. He went up the nets, across the bridge, down the slide, up the stairs... and then we lost him. Luckily, John found him trying to go down the nets (which you aren't allowed to do) and brought him back down safely.

So here are the pictures!
Johnny is obviously not impressed with the time and effort these people put into their make up and costume.

Hello rubber ducky. Would you like to come home with me?

Look! We were there!

ELMO!!!! Hank loves Elmo. But that's a post for another day. Or something.

Turns out that the coolest place in the park was this stretch of green grass where the boys ran and ran and ran while I chased them and tickled them. It was totally worth the price of admission. That grass was seriously soft.

I KNOW. Dead of cute.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

35 months!

I'm 35 months old today!
Hank is only 16 months old though, so don't get confused. This just happens to be a good picture of me, Johnny, therefore I want to use it. This is MY 35-month-birthday, not Hank's. Just to be clear.


I am only ONE MONTH AWAY from being 3 whole years old. Man, I'm getting old fast. In the past month I have exploded with correct grammar. I use complete sentences and use "I" and "me" correctly most of the time. I rarely talk in the third person anymore, much to Mommy's relief.

The biggest change in the past few weeks is how much I enjoy other kids now. I have come to appreciate Hank's company a little more and have even started asking him "Hank, do you wanna go upstairs and play with blocks, Hank?" in the morning after breakfast. It makes Mommy's heart melt.
I even have a couple of friends now that I enjoy seeing. One of them, Blake, likes to sing the ABC song with me, so we'll sit on chairs and sing together. I've even taken him up to my room to play with my coveted letters and numbers. When he goes, we give each other a big hug and the rest of the day I will tell Mommy about how much fun I had with Blake. I know, I'm adorable.

I'm still really into numbers and letters and am learning to spell and read more and more each day. My favorite game right now is having Mommy or Daddy make letters A to Z with my Duplo blocks. I tell them what color I want it to be and they make it for me. It's awesome. I even starting to write a little bit; I can write a "1" (and 11, 111, 1,111, etc) and am working on "7". To be honest, I'm not all that interested since I can just make Mommy write whatever number I need.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween 2012

So.... October in San Diego was kind of mean this year. It was supposed to be all cool and crisp and kind of fall-like, but October decided that autumn wasn't going to happen on her watch and threw us some blazing sunshine, Santa Ana winds and some 100+ degree days just to watch us SUFFER.

What does this have to do with Halloween? Nothing, I just felt like ranting.


Hank and Johnny's costumes all revolved around a certain plastic hat that Johnny got from the Safari Park a couple of months ago. Up until that day, Johnny was not a hat guy. Not in the slightest. Then some random older kids give him a plastic safari hat and BAM! He won't take it off. So, I figured I'd make him a zookeeper/person on safari and Hank would be some kind of animal you would see on safari. So when I saw a lion costume at Costco two months ago, I grabbed it. Then I got an "explorer's" vest off Amazon and I was done.

It was the perfect plan. Johnny is REALLY particular about what he wears (more on that later), so I planned for him to wear some khakis and whatever shirt he wanted. Then I'd slip the vest on him and convince him to wear his beloved safari hat and we'd be done.

Turns out that my nearly-3-year-old is SO not into doing things that I want him to do. The whole day I talked up getting CANDY and wearing a COSTUME and getting CANDY and seeing Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Jana and OMG DID I SAY YOU'RE GETTING CANDY?!?!

Not fazed. Candy? Pish-posh. I guess that's what I get for not giving my child candy, right?

So Grandma stayed inside with Johnny while the rest of us took Hank around in his lion costume to get some candy. And he was SO STINKING CUTE. He'd ring the doorbell, stand there patiently, and when the host arrived at the door, he'd wave at them and say "Hi!" They'd (without fail) get down on his level and gush about adorable he is while showing him a bowl full of bright colored treats. At first, he hesitated about taking something, but by the end he had no problem grabbing something and putting it in his bag. He wouldn't say "trick or treat" since he's only 16 months old, but I would prompt him with "What does a lion say, Hank?" and he's say "Roar!!"
The lion without his hood

Not stoked about the hood.

Still not stoked about the hood.

Please don't mind my hip hair-do. It's called "mom-chic"... and also "I haven't looked in the mirror for three days"
He kept pointing at the jack o' lanterns saying "pumpkin!" Then he'd point to the fountain and say "FOUNTAIN!"
 My heart exploded a few times that evening at the sheer cuteness of it all.

After a few houses, Grandma had managed to get Johnny outside, but he required her to put his orange shirt on him. So this was Johnny's costume (from the back since he refused to slow down long enough for me to snap a shot of his face):

Then shortly after we got all excited about Johnny coming outside, he bolted down the block and John followed him to the park, where they stayed until Hank and I picked them up in the van after we were done seeing all of our neighbors.

I think Johnny may have seen his error in skipping out the trick or treating when Hank was digging into his spoils:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Boys + Running = Presh

It was a relatively typical night. John got home at a normal time, I was scrambling to put dinner together, Hank was clinging to my leg and screaming his head off because I wouldn't pay attention to him right. that. second. and Johnny was upstairs putting his letters in order. Normal.

But then it was suddenly... abnormal.

John and I sat down to our meal and the boys actually sat down with us and ate their meals. No whining and crying about not wanting to eat dinner. No rejection of the food on their plates in favor of PB&J (that's just Johnny, Hank is not a picky eater, that's for sure). Just sheer hunger and enjoyment of their parents' company while we had a toddler-esque conversation about the day.

And then this happened directly after:
Head explosion cute, right? All I could think about while watching it happen- no, wait, my brain had fizzled out because of the CUTENESS that was happening in front of me and no thinking was going on during the performance. But later, once all of my synapses were firing again, I was thinking about a conversation I had eavesdropped on between two moms at the grocery store. I had Johnny in the shopping cart and they were behind me talking about how they really wished they had boys because boys are so much QUIETER than girls.

Ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha.


The video above is a pretty accurate example of the volume in my house at any given moment. Which I love and embrace because really? Laughing, talking and squealing kids are what makes my world go 'round.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The uncles should be stoked.

I apologize in advance for how choppy and awful this video is in terms of cinematography and editing. I got a new computer recently (and it's INCREDIBLE), but I'm still learning the ropes. iMovie keeps crashing and I haven't figured out why in the last 15 minutes, so I'm just going to post the video in all of its long, unedited glory. Eventually I'll clip it down like normal and add my usual titles and such. Maybe. If I ever get around to it. Which probably means never.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hank's 15 month Check Up

Hank's 15 month doctor's visit was pretty routine.

Weight? Good.
Height? Good.
Head circumference? Good.

Okay, everything looks awesome. Let's ruin this appointment and give him FOUR shots! Wheeeee!!! He's so strong that me AND the nurse were straining to keep his legs still so she could give him the shots. It's certainly not a lot of fun restraining your uber strong, kicking, screaming toddler.

But I digress. His stats were as follows:
Weight: 26 lbs 12 oz - 78th percentile
Height: 33 inches - 98th percentile (EVERY time the nurse does the height she says, "So I guess Daddy is pretty tall, huh?" Every. Time.)

Otherwise, Hank is pretty awesome. Nothing new to report here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Toddler Tyranny

Things that Johnny says to me on a daily basis:

"No Mommy dance!"
"No Mommy sing!"
"No Mommy turn fan on!"
"No Mommy hum!"
"No Mommy put jelly on it!"
"No Mommy put me in car!"
"No Mommy put toys away!"
"No Mommy turn off TV!"
"No Mommy sit!"
"No Mommy sleep!"
"No Mommy stand!"
"No Mommy go in Johnny's room!"
"No Mommy play with my numbers!"

And those are the things I hear daily. This list doesn't even include what I hear if we are out and about in public or at bath time, or bed time for that matter. It doesn't include the stuff he commands me to do (as opposed to what I should NOT do).

I knew when he was born that my life would revolve around him, but certainly never expected him to be so... tyrannical.

Don't let the bored expression fool you; he's just WAITING for me to burst into song so he can take me down.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hank is 15 months old!

I'm 15 months old!
There's a trash can in the background... that's important.
I have learned SO MUCH this last month! I have really started expanding my vocabulary and can now say the following words in addition to the list from my 13 month post:
  • no
  • yogurt (which is always accompanied by an open hand next to my mouth... no idea why)
  • a car
  • trash
  • garbage truck
  • soccer ball
  • duck
  • dog
  • moo 
  • on
  • off
  • book
  • cereal (actually it sounds more like "uyuhyuhyuhyuhyuh", but it means cereal. With milk on it.)
  • bagel
  • llama llama
  • block
  • fountain
  • hand
  • pool
  • strawberry (this one actually sounds like strawberry)
  • boom 
  • out
  • outside
  • closed
  • throw
  • cup
  • bowl
  • phone
  • hi
  • bye
I am IN LOVE with trash and anything to do with trash. I point out ALL OF THE TRASH CANS wherever we go (which isn't actually new, but now I can actually say the word "trash" so other people know what I'm talking about) and really enjoy throwing stuff in the trash. After Mommy changes Johnny's diaper, sometimes she'll let me throw it in the trash for her. It's such a treat! But sometimes when she doesn't have any trash to throw away, I'll pick something random and throw it in there just for the thrill.

I have started a love affair with the garbage truck and it's the highlight of my week. The second I hear a loud truck coming my way, I run to the door saying "Garbage truck? Garbage truck? GARBAGE TRUCK!!" So we all go outside and watch the garbage truck make it's rounds. Every time a can is emptied into the truck Johnny and I both say "BOOM!" and laugh hysterically. It's nice to actually have something in common with my brother.

I've gotten really good at running and jumping with two feet. I have been known to hop from one point to another point 20 feet away just because I can. I like to climb on the play structures at parks and go down slides; Mommy says I'm an adrenaline junkie. I am also getting good at saying hi and bye appropriately and LOVE to wave and blow kisses.

My napping is still rocky, but I've been getting better. I am finally getting to the point where one nap is enough and will usually go down for 45 minutes in the middle of the day and then Mommy can nearly always nurse me back to sleep and put me back down. Sometimes I don't let her put me down though, in which case the nap is over since apparently Johnny can't be without supervision for an hour. Whatever. At night, I've been sleeping for five hours straight in the middle of the night! I tend to go to bed at 7pm, wake up at 10pm, and then stay down until around 2:30 or 3. Then sometimes Mommy can nurse me back to sleep and put me in the crib, but other times she can't put me down so I come to bed with her. Either way is good for me! As long as there's a boob nearby.

My molars finished coming in this last month (finally) and now all I have left are my cuspids, which are taking their sweet time. Once those come in, maybe I'll be ready to push the boob away and move on with my life... or at least that's what Mommy is hoping!

Likes: trash, jumping, water, waving, blowing kisses, hot air balloons, balloons in general, Llama Llama Hoppity Hop, pressing doorbells, drawing on myself with marker, playing with sand, snuggling, Mommy's singing, strawberries, cheese, Greek yogurt, slides, ketchup

Dislikes: having my diaper changed, someone spoon feeding me, hitting my head, my carseat, shoes, having stuff on my hands, sitting in the stroller

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Organization may be an exercise in futility

I'm not a particularly organized person. I mean, I have this incredible drive to be organized, but I never really get to that point where there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Even when I was a teacher, it was the most organized I have ever been and I STILL had organization issues (however, all of my glassware and lab tools were impeccably organized).

So, I decided to do this 14 week organization challenge over at A Bowl of Lemons, a blog I happened to find while searching for organization tips. (Side note: did you realize that I've said some form of the word "organize" 7 times already? I won't blame you if you bail now.)

The first week's challenge was the kitchen. So I did it. I took everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) out of the drawers and cabinets and cleaned them. Then I put everything back in a way that made more sense. The first thing I did was figure out which of my cabinets and drawers were "prime real estate" and put utensils and appliances that are the most used in those places. That in itself was a challenge. Which do I use more? This iron dutch oven or this cheesecake pan? 
And then I had to go through tupperware. Now, as I may have mentioned before, I love boxes. I save boxes and containers like I'm planning to move next month. In fact, sometime I'll order something off the Internet and when it arrives, I'm more excited about the box than the item I ordered. It's a sickness.
ubiquitous coffee cup photo bomb
But I digress. You can only imagine the pit of despair that was my tupperware cabinet. It was in a corner spot, so it's cavernous, and the boys routinely take everything out of it and leave everything strewn about the kitchen like a tornado came threw but was only strong enough to move the plastic containers. And when your children are in the habit of disorganizing you, you rarely have the motivation to organize these items. So I figured it was time to buckle down and throw some stuff away. I threw out every round container we had and kept all of the square and rectangle ones and put them in a deep drawer across from the drawer holding all of my plastic baggies. Now they are easy to put away and easy to access. That was my crowning achievement from this week's organization challenge.

Otherwise, it was just moving stuff around to make it more accessible. Like putting the deep fryer (that I have yet to use, but can't seem to get rid of) on a shelf high above the refrigerator, where it will NEVER be in my way. Oh, and making a cabinet solely for my baking stuff. And making a coffee station. And bringing the medications and bandaids and vitamins into the kitchen in an organized space.

Next challenge is the garage....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

33 Months

I'm 33 months old!
I celebrated my 33 month birthday by slipping on a retaining wall I was climbing and scraped up my face. Oops! It was my first bloody nose and I was none too pleased about it. Nor am I all that happy about the lovely scrape marks on my face, especially with all the strangers asking about it.

I'm still into numbers and letters and am spelling more and more everyday. I have even begun sounding out simple words I don't know. I'm almost 3 years old and starting to read... are you impressed yet?

One of my favorite things to do is put DVDs in the DVD player and then take them out and clean them. Mommy keeps telling me that I'm cleaning the wrong side, but whatever. I just think it's fun to clean them over and over again like Mommy and Daddy do.

I am also getting more into music and have started to hone my dance moves. I still don't like Mommy or Daddy singing/humming/whistling along to the music, but they really like it when I sing. And who could blame them? I have a voice like an angel when I sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. My favorite thing to dance to is still the fanfare music that comes on after the previews on Toy Story 2 or 3. The song only lasts about five seconds, so I try to squeeze as much dancing as possible into that five seconds.

The biggest change this month, I guess, is that I have decided I like parks. I'm all about going outside and going down slides. The 6th Ave park at Balboa Park is my current favorite and I ask all the time if I can go down the orange slide. Unfortunately, we usually end up going down a brown or beige slide since that seems to be the color scheme at the parks around my house. Oh well! Those are usually fun, too.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pool time

It's been pretty hot lately. Yes, we live in SoCal, where it's supposed to be hot, but it's been the humidity that has been killing us, actually. So we've been spending lots of time in the pool. Which has been AWESOME. The boys are thrilled with water time now, even Johnny who wasn't very excited about the pool earlier this summer. Plus it's a fun, relaxing thing to do as a family in the evenings and on the weekends. And the boys are pretty cute in the water.

Playing around with color in editing.

This is as good as it gets when it comes to everyone looking at the camera and not flailing around.
 The previous three pictures I edited, but I got lazy and didn't feel like editing the rest... especially when I *should* be editing the twenty or so senior portraits I have left from my last client.

What do you mean I can't breathe underwater? I was BORN in the water, Daddy!
I took a lot of pictures of Hank because he's a lot easier to catch on camera. Johnny tends to be a complete blur or just a shot of the back of his head. He's being strangely uncooperative lately... but that's a whole different post.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rubber duckies

Lately, in the bath, Hank has decided that he LOVES these three little rubber duckies more than anything. Okay, that may not be true. Johnny just doesn't throw a fit/try to drown him when he touches the rubber duckies. He picks them up and puts them all in a row on the lip of the tub and it's adorable.

Look! They're my size! And they're cute! Like me!

Suspicious toddler is suspicious of your copious picture-taking while he's naked in the tub.
Credit for the very artfully placed rubber ducky can go straight to me. It's all about angles. And patience.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Quick update... since I feel guilty

For the last six weeks I haven't found many free moments in which to sit down and write a coherent post about the boys as I've either been battling with a child at bedtime, preparing for our east coast trip, or traveling to the east coast. So I'll give you a few bullet points of incoherency:

  1. We went on our trip and survived (I'll give a full update... someday).
  2. Johnny can now spell TONS of words, including flamingo and xylophone. His newest trick is spelling "The Home Depot". I suppose that means we have too many home improvement projects going on.
  3. Hank can say a few words now: Mama, Dada (which also refers to Johnny), yes, no, book, throw, trash, car, truck, out, yay, wow, yuck and phone. It's funny, he says "phone" an awful lot like Johnny used to.
  4. Both Johnny and Hank have a sudden obsession with slides, which is totally awesome since it's something they BOTH enjoy, but it's also not a fun obsession to have when it's ridiculously hot outside.
  5. Hank now kisses EVERYTHING. Blocks in front of him? Kiss. Book in front of him? Kiss. Sleeping Mommy? Kiss. Johnny's back? Kiss. It's adorable and hilarious. And sometimes disgusting when he wants to kiss the trash can.
  6. Johnny is still into Toy Story 1, 2, and 3, but not enough to wear the adorable Buzz Lightyear and Woody pajamas I got him. He chooses to wear his too-small Cars PJs instead.
  7. Johnny is getting better and better at using sentences, but his pronouns are all confused. Finally, John pointed out that it's probably our own fault since we've been referring to ourselves in the third person for who knows how long. So we've made an effort to say, "I'm so hungry!" instead of "Mommy/Daddy is so hungry!" and now he's starting to catch on. No idea if it's because of our change in grammar or because he's just figuring it out himself, but I'm glad.
  8. Now that our pool heater is fixed, we've been spending more time in the pool. I'm happy to report that both boys enjoy it immensely... but it's REALLY dicey spending time in there with both of them and it's just me. On every trip into the pool/spa, one of them has fallen into deeper waters at least once. Kind of scary.
  9. Hank has cut 3 of his 4 molars in the last few weeks and that has been AWESOME.
  10. Johnny has been learning to cook his own egg and it's SO CUTE/TERRIFYING. I've been trying to foster a I-can-do-it attitude in him, since I think I tend to do too much for him all the time, and this is one of the few things he has been interested in doing himself.  
 Hopefully I'll get a chance soon to fill in all that has happened in the last few months that I've been crazy busy. But no promises. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Clash of the Circadian Rhythms

You know how some people are night people and others are morning people? Well, I'm a day person. I have never been good at staying up really late or getting up really early. Or both, for that matter. I tend to do most of my productive work starting at 8:30pm and do best going to bed at 11pm and getting up around 7am.

Well, my boys are not day people. Johnny is most definitely a night person, I mean, as much of a night person as a two-and-a-half year old can be. He's much happier going to bed around 8:30pm or 9pm and getting up around 6:30am (though on those rare days he wakes up at 7:30am he's REALLY happy).

And Hank? Yep, you guessed it. He's a morning person. He likes to go to bed at 6pm and wakes up at 5am like clockwork. Obviously, he doesn't sleep all of those hours yet, but this is just a general overview.

So that means that with Johnny going to bed at 9pm and Hank getting up at 5am, John and I get squeezed in the middle. After Johnny goes to bed and we spend a few precious minutes talking about our days while cleaning up the house/getting sippy cups filled for tomorrow/doing laundry and then try to go to bed at a decent hour.

I can only hope that Hank will eventually decide nighttime is awesome and start to go to bed a little later so that we can put Johnny and Hank down around the same time in the evening and they'll get up later in the morning.

I'm not even sure how this works with three kids' (or more) circadian rhythms to work around. It must be hell.

But the two I have sure look adorable when they sleep.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hank is 13 months old!

I'm 13 months old today!
 This month has been packed full of development for me. The biggest thing is that I'm starting to say words. I mean, not words that just anyone can understand, but Mommy is definitely noticing a few noises here and there that are my versions of certain words. 
Word list:
  • yes
  • cheese
  • ew
  • whoa
  • ball
  • basketball
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • car
  • bird
  • woof
  • bubble
  • balloon
I can also say "uh oh" clear as day. I usually say it when I've dropped something and Mommy thinks it's adorable. I'm even signing a little bit to make my communication even clearer. "More" and "night night" are the ones I do most often, but occasionally I will do "cheese". I like cheese. Obviously.

I am SO steady on my feet now. I am slowly working toward running, but my head usually goes a lot faster than my feet so I end up landing on my face. I can jump pretty well, though, and have gotten really good at it using our trampoline.

I'm throwing balls and sippy cups and all kinds of objects just to see what happens. The funny thing is I throw them with my LEFT. I also reach for things with my left and am better at feeding myself with my left hand. It's still early, but I may be left-handed!

My naps are about two a day for about 45 minutes each and nighttime sleep is still fragmented. I go to bed around 5:30pm, wake up about 9:30pm, 1:30am, 3:20am and then am up for the day at 5am. I'm like an alarm clock; I wake up at 5:00 on the dot every single morning. It's kind of nice because I get to spend some time with Daddy before he goes to work. Even though my napping and nighttime sleep is less-than-ideal, Mommy doesn't mind because it's pretty predictable, which is nice.

Likes: cheese, Goldfish crackers, strawberries, blackberries, Daddy's cereal, yogurt pretzels, raisins, remote controls, stuffed animals, Mommy's singing, being held, throwing things that make loud noises, pulling Mommy's hair, soy milk, homemade smoothies, PB&J, balls
Dislikes: leafy greens, nuts, Mommy leaving the room, the car seat, stroller, Johnny taking toys from me, being left in a room by myself, getting my diaper changed