Wednesday, February 24, 2016

T and his Asics

About a year ago T decided that shoes with ties were far superior to shoes with velcro and thus began the "Please Mom! Please Mom! Come on Mom!" phase of our shoe existence. But here's the thing. My life is busy enough as it is and one thing I don't take for granted is the fact that both of my boys can put on their own dang shoes! So I told him that when he learned to tie his shoes himself we could have a civilized discussion about tied sneaks--and you can imagine how hard he's been practicing to fulfill his side of our little deal. To be fair it didn't take that little braniac very long to master the skill, but I was still hesitant to replace our easy and adorable Pumas with his tied shoes of choice so much to his chagrin we waited, and waited, and waited some more. But there comes a point when your kid is running track and has been drooling over Sports Authority ads with the "greatest running shoes in the world" and you can tell that owning a pair of Asics would mean the world to him and you think, you know what kid, you mean the world to me, so let's go for it! As much as I tried to lead him, guide him, walk beside him over to the neutral numbers, he found his true love in a pair of lime green, hot orange, and teal blue kicks. Regardless of how fast he's running when he crosses the finish line, he will definitely not be missed! And lest you think he has EVER questioned his decision, we've now owned those awesome shoes for two weeks and everyday as he's meticulously tying those blue laces I hear him telling his sister, "Are these the sportiest shoes you've ever seen? I bet you love these colors! You cannot believe how fast they make me! Gosh, I'm so happy!" and I just smile knowing that buying things for T is like ordering sunshine to my life--and who doesn't need some extra sunshine?

Ever the early-bird, Talmage woke up at 5 am the day after we bought these so that he could get his shoes ready for the day. They went on, they came off, they were petted and cleaned and admired and then they went on again. James walks him to school in the morning and called me laughing on his way to work because T had literally sprinted his way all the way there--backpack bouncing behind him and all. His enthusiasm and energy and excitement are enviable (and sometimes exhausting) and leaves me wishing in so many ways I could be more like him. 

Hopefully his Pumas won't get too jealous but I have a feeling it's going to be a long time before they're on this kids feet again! T and his Asics, boy they're a match made in heaven!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

President's Day Done Right

Since James had President's Day off of work we decided to live it up and go on an adventure to the Palos Verdes tide pool. Our drive down was peppered with facts and stories from T and Ever about our past, present and future presidents that were both enlightening and hilarious. Ever Knight taught us that George Washington used to put powder on his head because he had "bwack hair wike me but he wanted it to be white." He also is fascinated by the "Lincoln getting shot" story so we discussed that in depth. T was quick to chime in that George Washington was our first president and had a wife named Martha, Barrack Obama is our first black president and that if Donald Trump wins and becomes president things are going to get realllly crazy! All that mixed with the beauty of the coast made our hour drive feel like just a flash.

It was quite the hike down to the tide pools but wow, was it worth it! We saw anemones, sea urchins, fish, crabs and the most gorgeous red sea star hugging tightly to a rock. The water was pretty cold and the rocks were slippy, slidey but we all enjoyed it so much that we were quick to decide that this would not be our last visit to these pools. The pictures don't even start to do this beautiful place justice. I think it was one of the more beautiful places I've visited in my life. I can't wait to go again!

I love it when James can come with us to play, especially since he never complains about carrying our baby on his shoulders and our pack on his back. Maybe someday his full-time job will be hanging out with me and our babies but for now we just cherish every second that he is all ours.

We finished the day with salads from Cafe Rio and a few hours at the sandy Manhattan Beach. Eight hours in the gorgeous outdoors made for the best possible Presidents Day. See you again soon Palos Verdes!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Field-tripping & Preschool Partying with Ever Knight

I've realized that the more kids I have the harder it's going to be to attend EVERYTHING that their individual school classes have to offer. Parties usually allow siblings to attend so I'm down to bring the baby along and have a blast, but field trips are something I've struggled with because I WANT to go so bad but realistically it's hard because I don't have a nanny or reliable day-time sitter. I decided this year to manage expectations (for me and the kids) and commit to going on one field trip with each child per year. Who knows, maybe I could end up going on more, but FOR SURE they can count on the fact that I'll be on at least one.

Friday was Ever Knight's big day when I went with his class to see a stage production of "Curious George and the Golden Meatball." He kept telling everyone that he had "waited fowevoh fo my spesho Mommy field twip day" and wanted to hold my hand and sit on my lap and give me loves the entire time. Seeing your kids one on one is just the most special experience and I loved hanging out with my lovey Ever Knight. His classmates are all adorable and his teacher is so relaxed and fabulous and overall it was a perfect field trip to enjoy with Ev. (And luckily Quinny had a blast at her playdate with our friend Annie!)

You start taking selfies and before long you're the most popular person at the park and every kid wants to see their face in the picture. I love these pictures so much and just wish I could scoop all of these sweet kids and take them home with me.

I also got to spend some quality time with Ever and his classmates at their Valentine's Day party. The kids all made special hats and we all prepared special food and treats and basically they pigged out on junk food. (There were plenty of healthy options, but someone their plates were all filled with cupcakes and cookies!)

Quinn makes herself at home in Ever's class and basically starts acting like one of the kids. This was her very first juice box (I think?) and she loved it almost as much as I loved seeing her with it. She's getting so big and is just the most adorable thing. 

A slice of chocolate cake, chocolate candy and a juice box, all a part of this well-balanced lunch!

Two sets of super cute siblings enjoying the party.

I love my baby boy valentine, Ever Knight!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Super Quick Weekend with Mema and Pepa

Mema and Pepa are super-grandparents/parents/people and decided to drive a round trip total of 14 hours so they could spend a mere 28 hours with us here in Los Angeles. The main purpose of their trip was to see Talmage play in one of his basketball games, but we filled the remainder of their time to the brim with a park trip, Valentine's Day party, breakfast at The Griddle (bucket list item checked!), day trip to the beach and a little at-home play time. It's always the best when they're around and just the worst when they leave. My pregnancy emotions have been a little out of control lately and this weekend was particularly bad so bless them for not rolling their eyes a thousand times (at least not in front of me) over my fits and tears and stress. Either this little one is going to be overly emotional or maybe I'm using up all of her emotions now. Either way, lots of tissues over here lately.  

I've wanted to eat at The Griddle since we lived here the first time years ago and we finally made it happen when Mema and Pepa were visiting. Other than me being super indecisive about my order (and then changing it in tears a few minutes after the waiter left, thanks hormones) everything was perfect! We got there a few minutes before they opened and within seconds the whole entire place was full (if you ever go--get there early! I've heard there can be lines around the block!) I got the Nutella french toast and possibly have never eaten something so delicious in my life. Not if, but WHEN I go again I will for sure order this again. The portions are huge so we had lots of leftovers and were eating yummy pancakes for days.

The weather was a little fickle and by the time we made it to Zuma Beach in Malibu the sky was covered in clouds and the waves were massive. We stuck to running from the waves, flying kites and building sand castles. It was cool but it was still fun, especially watching my Dad play in the waves (and get soaked!)

Mema and Pepa with the basketball boy! This kid really likes basketball and it is SUPER fun watching him run up and down the court, dribble, pass and shoot. His league is super lax and so the kids have a lot of space to learn and fall in love with basketball which just warms my heart. So glad he's loving it and so glad my parents could come see him in action.

And then my tired, puffy, crying eyes said goodbye and got more tired, puffy and tear-filled as their magical van drove away. My Mom insisted on a picture with my pregnant belly before she left and even though I look hammered I love that I have this picture as a reminder that this baby, my other babies and I are loved so fiercely. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Beach in FEBRUARY!!!

Everyone said that come February I'd be saying, "New York who?" but I must admit I doubted that the panging in my heart for that big city would ever go away. But guess what? Our warm January turned into an even warmer February and as I sat on the beach last week in nearly 90 degree heat I thought, "They were right! This is truly heaven!" My NYC friends have spent the last month or so bemoaning the freezing temps and I truly don't even miss that at all. Not a bit! Not the snow or the cold and especially not the parkas. Sunshine and warmth and a cool ocean breeze is my happy place and here I am, sitting in the middle of it. Counting my blessings lately for calling Cali home again. 

Here's to hoping that 2016 is full of many, many more beach days and that the warm sunset we experienced on a February Tuesday night is repeated again and again in Winter weeks to come!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lately, Meaning Mostly Quinny

OH, hi baby!!! An ultrasound of our teeny sister from a bit ago. Don't worry baby girl, you'll be filling blog books just like your sister and brothers before long! For now, thanks for being good in there.

Quinner is the ultimate Daddy's girl. She sobs and bangs her head on the door when Daddy leaves for work in the morning, and you better believe she is the FIRST person in his arms when he gets home. And PS, this non-cuddler saves every snuggle in her soul for her Prince Charming. Usually she jumps in his arms and waves to me saying, "Bye! Bye!" and literally begs him to take her with him wherever he goes (even to the garbage chute). It is absolutely adorable and I love seeing them together! (This picture was right before Daddy left on a business trip last week.)

 Crazy for Mama, always!!!

 We spend most of our Sunday in the hallways with Quinn. Last week it was storming outside and the baby would take a break from running laps around the building to admire the raindrops through the window (probably wondering what the heck it was, bless you Southern California!) I just can't believe how much she looks like an angel. Those cheeks, that nose, her lips!!! 

James gave me a camera class for Christmas and this last Saturday was the day. It was so much fun and I learned so much--first thing was to only take pictures when the lens cap is off ;)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Running through life

It was a hard day to be a first grader. Hurt feelings and exhaustion and insecurities abounded and a day that looked pretty fabulous on paper hid deep pain and an ocean of tears. That little boy of mine is usually Captain Sunshine and the craziest ball of positive energy so days like this are few and far between and often catch me by surprise. As I sat on the couch this afternoon rubbing his back as he spilled his soul and wiping away his crocodile tears it reminded me that this little guy is a real person with real emotions, real thoughts and a really big heart. I know that sounds like such a simple learned lesson, of course he's a real person, but sometimes I get so busy having a business relationship with "the kids" as an entity that I need a gentle reminder that they are fabulous, unique and autonomous individuals who are growing up and need to be loved fiercely by their Mama. Thank goodness I get to go on this growing-up journey with T, Ever Knight and Quinny-Girl and although I know stretching days like today are bound to be in our future I'm so grateful we can cry them out together, learn from each other, and finish the day laughing side by side. Here's to hoping my Captain Sunshine is back tomorrow (but maybe not as early as the 6 am wake up call we got from him this morning!)

(Where's Waldo...Talmage edition!)

(Short sleeves and sandals in January means more to me than you can imagine!)

Quinny and I spent last Friday morning cheering our favorite biggest brother/oldest child while he ran in the Jog-a-thon. He didn't stop during the whole 30 minute race and ended up running 17 laps or 4.25 miles. I seriously still can't believe how fast and beautiful his little body looked as it zipped past me over and over again! I saw muscles in his legs I didn't know he had and enviable determination and devotion in his eyes. If it wasn't clear before this event that running is his "thing," he made it perfectly clear during those exhilarating 30 minutes. As he crossed the finish line for the final time he said, "It's already over? I want to keep running some more! That was awesome!" It was awesome, I agree! He ran his little heart out and luckily I found him a track team so it looks like a whole lot of racing will be in our future. Good job, T. I love you so much buddy!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tutus and Dino Helmets

This girl is cray-cray! And I could NOT love her fiery spirit more.