Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My puppies at the park

Sometimes I'm at the park near our house surrounded solely by dog people. They let their puppies run around, and I let my puppies run around and you know what, I have a whole lot more in common with those peeps than I sometimes think. In fact, this last week as I stood at the bottom of the tree with two boys trying to throw soccer balls at squirrels and they stood at the bottom with puppies that were trying to climb the tree to attack those squirrels I was like, same same. 

This one, I don't know if she's more of a puppy or a squirrel! You should see her run around the couch five million times in a row, sometimes chasing her brothers and sometimes hysterically laughing as she's being chased.  This was one morning last week when we were dropping off Ever at school. Quinny loves to run around and play with all of his preschool friends, she even tries to spin on that bar with the big kids. She's getting so big, so fast...it's a little scary. 

My puppies at the park--they're all trained real well.

That's about as close as Quinn will get to dogs. She acts all tough, but she seems to have gained my healthy fear of animals! She's also scared of the vacuum, but that was not passed on from me!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Party at the Y

The YMCA is currently where I feel the most at home, loved, and the strongest sense of community in all of Los Angeles. Quinn and I spend a couple of hours there a few days a week and as soon as she walks through the doors she starts waving to me and screaming, "Buh-bye! Buh-bye! Buh-bye!" while running to the doors of Child Watch. Those workers love her and she adores them, clearly! And I cherish an hour or so to work out, talk to the other Y members and sometimes just sit and enjoy some silence. It sounds silly but I met the Director of our Westside Y the other day and started crying when I told her what the YMCA means to me, which is more than I even realized. This place is home.

Last Friday our Y held it's Halloween party and there was no way we were going to miss it. The kids were being extraordinarily loco and every instinct I had told me to put those kids to bed and kick up my feet but I pushed against it just so I could go see all of my people. The party was a total blast and I'm so glad we went! The YMCA, I love that place!  

The only picture I could get of my active one-year-old, that crazy chicken. But boy did she make the cutest little Quinny Mouse I ever did see (name given to her by her brothers, don't even think about calling her Minnie!)

And...the Kratt brothers from the Wild Kratts (morphing into bats). These two have had this costume idea since November 1st of last year (and I'm not even slightly kidding!) Luckily my Mom has amazing sewing skills and whipped these things together during their last LA visit. The boys have had these costumes on every day since, and are already planning on being the Kratt brothers morphing into zebras or cheetahs next year so my Mom's hard work will get good use for sure! I love those two together. Such great and special friends.

Party pics--obstacle course and shooting hoops!

This Mama loves her Quinny Mouse more than you can imagine. That baby was the star of the party, walking up to friends and strangers alike giving hugs and begging for treats! What a fun baby friend!

As soon as my boys saw the face-painting station they knew a spooky face was in their future. And boy did they get some:

A skeleton Kratt bat.

A vampire Kratt bat.

Because why not take an innocent costume like the Kratt brothers and make them scary Halloween monsters?! I loved how excited the face paint made them and I love them so much, I just wish they could have left the paint on a little big longer (oh the tears when we had to wash it off that night but soccer pictures were the next morning and while a Kratt skeleton is one thing, a spooky soccer star is another thing entirely!) We've got a few more Halloween parties this week and I'm so happy. Celebrating is so fun!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Kit-Kat Kinda Thursday

I've got loads of energy on Monday, aaaaaaaaaand it pretty much goes downhill from there! Come Thursday you'll find Quinn and I on the kitchen floor sneaking kit-kats from the candy bowl saved for Trunk-or-treat! Sometimes Thursday and Friday feel a little bit desperate if I'm being honest, but looking at these pictures I'd say Thursday is a pretty darn great day. Any day spent with that baby girl is a good one, lucky even. I'm blessed.

And yes, I'm that responsible--Quinn really did break off a piece of that kit-kat bar!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Making Peace with Pumpkins--A Stitches Story

It was a typical Tuesday afternoon in our home until that baby pumpkin attacked my Quinn. There she was just walking around the house holding that orange little friend (actually it was white, but why do I picture it as orange even now?) and her giggles and pride were matched only by my giggles and pride. She looked so cute and she was being so careful and then before either of us knew what was happening she lifted that pumpkin straight over her head like a bar bell, lost balance, and fell right on top of it. See? It was totally the bully pumpkin's fault! As soon as I picked her up and saw the gash I knew that stitches would be needed (because T is my son and stitches are the name of his game--I've had a lot of practice). I was shocked because her actions were so innocent and I was anxious because I had two boys to pick up from two different schools and no friends to come to my rescue, but I got on the phone with our new doctor and she walked me through where to go and off we went--Quinny in her carseat with a towel wrapped around her noggin and me in the front seat with tears streaming down my cheeks. I picked up the boys, dropped off the carpool, and headed straight to the ER. The next few hours were filled with a lot of tears and the loudest screams I've EVER heard because Quinny understandably had a headache and even more importantly wanted a baba--and that girl does not mess around when she wants herself a baba! But we made it through with some numbing shots, a light sedative, four stitches, and finally a bottle of milk delivered by a saintly nurse from down the hall. Quinny's first ER visit is in the books, but why do I feel like this won't be her last?!

The nurses and staff were so kind to the circus in our room! They made balloons and provided stickers and coloring books, plus there was a big screen TV with endless loops of cartoons. They didn't entertain poor Quinny for long, but those boys were angels the whole time. They earned their Happy Meals on the way home for sure! 

The good news is this happened just in time for Halloween. Isn't October just the perfect month to be sporting a jagged set of stitches? But seriously I'm so, so grateful those stitches are in the back and will someday be covered up by a gorgeous head of hair--at least I hope so! For now it's a good conversation starter.

She was extra, extra snuggly the next day which I ate right up. This girl is not a snuggler so I'll take it any chance I get.

Less than 48 hours after landing in the ER with a pumpkin-related injury we decided to high-tail it over to the Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch so that sister and I could make peace with pumpkins. I don't think I need to tell you, however, that I was the one (and the only one) who really needed to make peace. Quinner was picking up the same darn pumpkin that caused her injury as soon as we got home from the ER! I, on the other hand, freaked out every time she so much as looked at an orange object. Well, that just cannot be, I decided, so I got her gussied up and off to the farm we went!

There were a couple of moments when I thought, "Please don't fall! Please don't fall!" but overall I think we faced our fears. I'm definitely a mom who loves my children to touch and feel and experience without me hovering nearby, but that Quinny-girl is SO fast and SO adventurous and SO independent that she's stretching my mothering instincts to the max! But how cute does that feisty friend look holding her very own pumpkin? 


^^^That sequence is what we call a total inability to pick out just one cute picture to share. Quinny in that dress in that patch with that candy corn headband and big smile and huge spirit is just so beautiful to me and I have a hundred others that look almost like these, but not quite, that I wanted to throw in here too. If it isn't obvious, I love that girl!^^^

Oh wait, you mean I hadn't even mentioned that the boys came with us to the pumpkin patch?!!! Hahaha! Yes, they were there and loved it, so much so that this was the only picture I got of them. I bought them each a wristband so they were a crazy, sweaty and endless loop of the pumpkin bouncy house, Mr. Bones bouncy slide, corn maze and petting zoo. Those two brothers are so lucky to have each other and when they're not cat-fighting they really are the best of friends. (Which reminds me, Everett erupted into tears tonight over the thought of Talmage going to BYU without him in what, 12 years?! That Ever loves his big brother something fierce! And don't worry, they've now planned their mission/college schedule so they can be roommates and overlap their missions. Cousin Kai is also part of that plan. "Da fwee of us can wiv in da same woom. And wif Avewy too. Oh, Avewy can't cuz she's a guwl? OK, Avewy can just wiv cwose and us boys wiw be in da same woom." I can and can't wait to see that happen! 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Life Lately, Mid-October Edition...

There's not a whole lot to say except that life around these parts is ca-ca-ca-ca-crazy with a big ole spoonful of Rainbow Chip on the side. If I ever get a half-second to myself I think I might write that Betty Crocker a personal thank you note for bringing my favorite frosting back in my time of need; but a half-second to myself also seems a little ca-ca-ca-ca-crazy these days so Betty, with this post consider yourself thanked! James is back to the big-law grind and we don't see him much during the week, but luckily my three little people keep me busy and most of the time are pretty great company--except during the six o'clock witching hour!

What else, what else? Well, it's October so it seems like I should give you a weather report. It's hot, and you know that I love hot. People at the park keep talking about how horrible the heat is and I'm all, "Guys, my friends back in the City are wearing long johns and parkas. Count your blessings!" And you know I am--the sunshine breaths energy and happiness into my soul and I love to feel it everyday. I must admit though that the 80 degree weather the past few days has been a welcome cold spell and I've even dressed Quinny in a cute sweater or two! 

The boys and I finished reading "The Wizard of Oz" together this last week and watched the movie on Friday night. They were both quite scared of the Wicked Witch, but the morbid giggles when she melted were worth all the spookiness endured. Everett still calls the Cowardly Lion the "Cezerdly Lion" and holy hannah I will never correct him because it is SO cute! Both boys are thriving in school and soccer and life in general and there's no doubt they are right where they're meant to be. Quinny-girl is being crazy and cute and oh-so naughty all at the same time. She's learned to say hi and bye, lead music and stick out her tongue, pat her mouth to make loud noises and throw epic temper tantrums. She's just as feisty as I'd always hoped my daughter would be and I love her to bits.

So, well, I really don't have much else to say except I'm glad my computer is working again. It was in the shop all week and I feared the worst, but it's working like a champ now. Hallelujah! Our dishwasher is also working now after having a new motor installed; our fridge is no longer leaking after getting a good duck-tape job to the rear; our broken windows were replaced with beautiful new ones and our buzzer? That's still broken. This apartment has been a whole lot more work than we bargained for but hey, at least it's sunny outside!

Picture dump commencing now:

 The only thing Quinny loves more than seeing her big brother after a long day of school is getting to run around his playground with the big kids. More toddler and less baby everyday, much too soon.

 It's October, so Ever often feels the need to dress up in full costume when we go to pick-up. Heck, it has nothing to do with October. He'd dress up for pick-up everyday if I let him (which I sometimes do, in October!)

 Just because flowers from James!
Sometimes we call her Quen Stefanie, and for some reason in those shades I think the name fits like a glove.

 After-school superhero popsicle party because it's blasted hot outside! I bought 6 or 7 boxes of pops plus a few gallons of ice cream so that we always have a cool treat on hand. Sayonara hot cocoa, our fall friends are found in the freezer!

 Ever Knight and his posse before school.

 A lot of the time when we go to the park I try to contain her in the baby swing because her new favorite game is climb to the top to the jungle gym and scare Mommy by getting too close to the edge. The swing is much better for my heart.

 This last Friday Everett's school had a Hispanic Awareness performance and I went to support my muchacho. His class memorized a story about a little puppy who was trying to make new friends. Part of the story was in Spanish and part of it was in English. I love my Ever Knight and I was so glad to be there watching him shine. (Although when everyone clapped at the end he put his hands firmly over his ears. #stagefright #embarrassed) 

 Quinn in those boots had me swooning hard core. Her Flinstone feet have a hard time fitting in anything other than mocs, but a little push-and-shove was worth it to watch her walk around in those cute things! Thanks Avers for the share.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Birthday Shots of the girl

We went over to the temple gardens for a little one-year-old photo shoot. Someday I'm going to take a photography class (sooner than later I hope!) but for now, you get what you pay for! That being said, I love this baby girl and love every single one of these birthday pictures. Enjoy!

Happy birthday one-year-old Quinny-girl!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Quinny is ONE--a pink princess party

Quinny's first birthday proved what we had always expected--moving to California was going to give our children so many more amazing opportunities to have their grandparents in their lives. Both Mema and Pepa and Papa and Gigi came from Sacramento to celebrate our little lady on her big day (or in this case, the Sunday before her big day). It ended up being a busy weekend with soccer games, museum explorations and the primary program but it was the absolute best having so many family members here. We ended up keeping things super simple--a whole lotta pink and a whole lotta good food and a whole lotta nothing besides that. I did make special layered jello which looked adorable and my mom and I made the cakes which were delicious if you ask me (but don't ask Quinn-she barely touched the thing). And that big pink tent you ask? Well, that's how we can be sure that Quinny has her Dad wrapped around his finger!

One, two, three pictures taken with my big camera and then peace out, it was party time! Luckily some of the grandparents snatched some pictures on their phones because as for me and my camera, we were too busy admiring the birthday girl (and making food!)

Quinny seeing her tent for the first time. She wasn't so sure at first, but now she loves hiding inside with things she's stolen around the house. That naughty little one-year-old!

The cakes! My mom is a decorating genius--both were decorated in ten minutes flat.

A birthday dinner with all the fixins--and of course the birthday girl got the best seat in the house!

I'm quite aware that these are blurry but the joy on her face just needed to be remembered forever. That girl enjoyed her time in the spotlight for sure!

She was spoiled with gifts and loved them all...although don't ask her to unwrap them herself. Psh, can't be bothered!

Watching her eat her cake was super anticlimactic if I'm being honest. The boys were both first-birthday-cake devourers, but Quinn was just not that into it. Eventually she started playing in the frosting a little bit more but when I put a little piece of cake in her mouth she started gagging and then spit it out! Quinn, how am I your mother and you didn't stick your face right in that cake?!

This is right before I took the birthday girl out of the high chair. As you can see her brothers helped her eat the edges of the cake...and she got her hands in the frosting at least a little bit!

Sooooo.....maybe we should have more than just this picture of us with her on this joyous occasion. But there it is, Quinn with her parents at her first birthday party!!! Her face has me cracking up every time I see this!

On her actual day we had birthday donuts (and empty frames :/ ) and lots of clapping when we sang her the birthday song. Her mimicking skills lately are a perfect 10 and she may have been late to the game in the clapping department but boy is she good at it now!

One second she was sitting on the ground in her cutie kitty jammies and the next she was shirtless and had found her brother's leftover donut on the table. Always an adventure with this babe.

Before she knew it she was back in a tutu and party hat for pictures (coming soon) and a trip to the mall. She somehow talked me into buying her a My Little Pony (Twilight Sparkle--right Ash?) and she loves it so much. How is my baby old enough to like Pony's??? It's adorable to see her play with it, AKA bite it's head off! She's an aggressive little tutu-wearer! 

Happy birthday my dear, sweet Quinn. I can't, nor would I ever want to, imagine my life without you. You are ONE and I see in your future an endless adventure and limitless opportunities. I love you.