Monday, November 26, 2012

Wreck it Ralph

  Neither of the boys have ever been to the movie theater, so we thought this year would be a good time to start the tradition of going to the movies the weekend after Thanksgiving. We looked into the two main kid movies out and decided on Wreck it Ralph. It was about a bad guy in a video game who didn't want to be a bad guy. It was really cute. The boys were both really good during the movie. Vander asked his usual 112 questions, and Ollie was thrilled that we let him eat popcorn and candy. The movie also had a candy video game in it and both boys really liked that. It was a fun morning as a family and sharing firsts with both boys.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

  We started our day with the traditional cinnamon rolls. Vander says he was very thankful to be able to have what tasted like dessert for breakfast. We then headed over to Hannah's house for her 3rd annual pumpkin pancakes breakfast. Delicious and fun. Van and Ollie headed down to the Katz parents house and Ollie and I headed home to let Ollie catch a few ZZZzzz's so that he wouldn't be a cranky pants. I had to wake him up after 1 1/2 hours so we could go down and join the Thanksgiving festivities. Mitch and Katie were there, but they couldn't stay too long because they were going over to Katie's parents house. Oliven did LOTS of puzzles and Van played outside with balls.
We all watched some cartoons and had a delightful dinner with family. We had a little time to as Ollie calls it, "play a little minute" before diving in to dessert- chocolate pecan pie and pumpkin streusal tart. Over all a very nice day and easy to feel Thankful. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Barnum the musical

  I bought tickets from groupon for a musical called Barnum. It said the show was a musical about the circus for kids. It did not mention that it was an adult themed musical played by kids- mostly 13 year olds. We took the two kids thinking there would be lots of circus stuff-no such luck. Oliven made it through the first act. Van made it through the whole thing. They each had a soft pretzel in the middle and got antsy, but overall they liked the music. I'm not sure that I would call it a successful evening, but it certainly wasn't a fail.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Throwdown


   Last year we missed out on having a Thanksgiving get together with friends. I was not about to let that happen again, as it was so much fun the year before. I hosted a Thanksgiving Throwdown. Eight families showed up for the fun. We had three judging categories: starch side dish, non-starch side dish and dessert. 
We voted on the best in each category. The food was really delicious since people were trying to win a $10 gift card to Target. It was fun and yummy- always a good combination! Justin and I won for best dessert. We made Theresa's Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe- always a crowd pleaser.

Grammy and Pop's house


  Oliven missed his Grammy and Pops and really wanted to visit them so he gave his Pops a call. Two days later we went to their house for the afternoon and dinner. They love playing T-ball, super heroes and puzzles in Morgan Hill. We had a lovely afternoon with family.

Kid dates

Vander painted his face at the CDM.
  Oliven was invited to a party at Pump it Up for his good friend Maddie, but Vander was not invited. It was fine...it gave us some one on one time with the kids. So, I told Van I would take him on a date. He slept well the night before so I let him choose...he choose Children's Discovery Museum and Subway for lunch and an ice cream cone from Baskin Robins. He was really excited and told me how excited he was several times. He ended up getting invited to the party at the last minute. He asked me, "well would it be our whole family or a special date with mommy?" I told him we would all go and he decided he really wanted a date. So, we had a good morning together as did Ollie and Justin.

Gymboree


  I signed Oliven up for Gymboree classes- basically an active play class for 5 weeks. He loved it! His best pal, Maddie, was in the same class and they had a blast together. They did bubbles, parachutes, imaginary play-different each time, lots of climbing and running around. It was a good time and Ollie looked forward to it each week. He really enjoyed trying to balance.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rest in Peace Grandpa Ken

  Grandpa Ken was my mom's dad. He was a man she loved and admired and put on a pedestal. She forgave him his flaws and just loved him and thought the world of him. I believe I got this quality from my mom. I can overlook many flaws for the people I love (my dad especially). I also think that my mom's warm affectionate feelings toward my grandpa rubbed off on me. I have always loved him and wanted to be around him from the time I was little. When I was a very small child I told him, "Grandpa, I will always be yours." He told me that one day I would grow up and get married and I wouldn't be his anymore. I told him that I had enough room in my heart to still be his too. I told him that I would always be his about a month and a half ago and he told me that he would always be mine too. I have fond memories of going to visit Grandpa Ken when I was a kid....playing in his pool, riding around his neighborhood- all the streets had names of fruits and trees, I really enjoyed that. Grandpa Ken used to buy me a whole bag of Hershey's mini candy bars when I would come to visit. We would share because I liked the dark chocolate the best and he liked the crunch bars. He would put graham crackers in a bowl and crunch them up and pour milk over them for a late night snack. He also let me watch scary movies- I loved that- my mom NEVER let me do that. I can't watch them anymore (I guess I took after my mom on that one). He would tell me stories of his kids when they were little and about when my Grandma and he were dating. He had a truly amazing deep voice that was always enjoyable to listen to.
   Over the last couple years and this past year especially Grandpa and I had really become friends. I shared with him as well as listening to his tales of being a Merchant Marine. It was really nice to have a confidant that was so close to my mom. My Grandma Gretchen, who I have been close to my whole life and has been my best friend for so long has Alzheimer's and I have been having a rough time with it and Grandpa Ken would talk with me about it and relay all kinds of great stories.
   When I was younger and long distance phone calls cost more money than we could afford Grandpa Ken would write letters back and forth with me. He was a very good pen pal. When he stopped being able to write as well he started making me tapes where he would just talk to me and tell me stories. I am so grateful for the tapes and all the old videos he made (I wish I knew where those were).
   Grandpa Ken would come down to visit and he would have conversations with himself at the table..."Gee Ken, I sure am hungry." "Really Ken, would you like a sandwich?" "Why thanks Ken I sure would." Not real subtle, but he got his point across. Most of my family thought he was rude and a burden, but not my mom and I never felt that way either. I never cared for the cigarette smoke, but he was well worth it. Sure he liked to tell stories about all the beautiful women he had slept with and how they stuck a needle..., but that was just who he was. I would never begrudge him for being his self. No one would ever say that he didn't appreciate women. He also used to walk around in his tighty whitey underwear, but please I lived with David- that was nothing new to me or my family. He wasn't perfect, but who is?
   Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch- Grandpa Ken taught this to my mom who taught it to me and it's been fun and impressive ever since- it is the city with the longest name in the world. It's in Wales and it would be really cool to go there one day and see it. That incredible memory of Grandpa's was passed on to my mom and my brother Freddy. He remembered things in great detail. Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy and kiddlied ivy too wouldn't you. Now if the words seem clear or funny to your ear a little bit jumbled or jivy sing mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. He used to sing this to me. And also...shoe fly pie and apple pan dowdy makes your eyes pop out and your tummy say howdy. I saw Apple Pan Dowdy for the first time at a shop in Guerneville- how perfect is that. I still have yet to taste it.
  Grandpa used to tell me that Justin was a quite guy and he never talked and he wondered how I could be married to such a shy person....then one night Justin was being himself and leading a lively conversation. Grandpa looks at me and says, "Is he ever quiet? It's too loud in here." He takes his paper towel, rips it in half and stuffs it into his ears. What a crack up!!! Grandpa Ken was blunt and honest and always spoke what was on his mind.
  He used to tell me about how much he loved living in Guerneville in the cabin. He didn't know his kids and my grandma loved it so much or he never would have left. He claimed they would have stayed one big happy family. He took the promotion to take care of his family that moved them to San Diego and things fell apart from there. He told me he always wished that was the time he could go back to and have lived his life out  with his kids out in nature happily. My mom always said the same thing...that living in Guerneville was the happiest she ever way and that she wished she had raised us there. I hope to spread Mom's and Grandpa Ken's ashes there some day.
   Another time Grandpa Ken was telling us all about the crowded grocery store and what a pain it was to navigate and all those people. "It was such an orgy." We've been laughing about that one for several years now.
  In high school my friend Dana told Grandpa Ken that he was, "Pimp." He did not like that accusation. (Slang at the time meant that he was cool or awesome). He told Dana that he would never sell women. Dana explained that she meant he was cool. Later that day he started telling everyone he was a pimp. I advised him that this was not a very good plan.
  When we were kids Grandpa Ken used to play a game he called, "Scramblini" He would throw a bunch of loose change on the ground and all the kids with scramble to get as much as we could. It was so much fun and we used to think we were getting rich. I reminded him of this game and he played it with my kids over the summer when we went to San Diego to visit. They loved it.
   Grandpa Ken used to always say that he and Grandma Gretchen started it all- referring to our family. He said we really had him to thank. As he sipped his pink, rose wine we all just laughed. One time Grandma Gretchen said that Colby was reincarnated from Grandpa Ken's grandfather. Colby says to Grandpa Ken, "So really you have me to thank." Too funny.
   Most of all Grandpa Ken loved to give and receive hugs and kisses. I miss you grandpa and will always be yours. Please keep mom company in heaven. I know you have been missing each other.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Venting

  Vander is testing me today. I am so thankful to the have the self control not to hit him. He is pushing every button. He was up several times during the night and banged on his door screaming from 5-7am. Then, at 7am he looks at me, smiles, and says, "Good morning mommy. I love you." Are you kidding me??? I love him too, but really...why isn't he learning? Justin and I have done EVERYTHING we can think of to get him to listen...he is now lying to get us into his room at night...."I pooped." "I threw up." You name it- he's the boy who cried wolf. Then, we are all tired and cranky. He kept Ollie up too cause he was so loud. Ollie has told me all day that he is tired. Vander was on a long time out and as soon as he got off he went over to his brother and threatened him. He then put his window down on the freeway-which is one of our rules. He claims it was an accident, but how can I believe him when he is lying to me all the time??? Then, I asked him to try and poop before quiet time. He tells me, "No, I'm too tired. Where is my stool? Find it for me mommy. I don't want to look for it." I told him he didn't get a story if he was going to act like this. He cried and told me he needed a hug. Should I give him a hug when he is acting like that? I feel like it would be reinforcing his naughty behavior. Vander is such a challenge!
  Did I mention that early this morning Oliven pooped all over himself and his chair and while I was cleaning that up Vander comes and tells me he had an accident and spilled orange sand all over his room. AHHHH!!! Kids are soooo challenging!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend: Babypalooza, Blaze's bday and Charity Ball


  Saturday morning we headed out to the 2010 event called Babypalooza. It included a yummy brunch buffet, an interactive story, belly dancers, Andy Z (the Bay Area's best kid musician), T-shirt decorating station, tablecloths to color on, and toys to play with. What kid wouldn't have a good time? The only downside was when Ollie threw up on the blanket that was out for the babies to play on- oops. Justy and I went to dinner group that night after the boys went to bed. We have been doing this for almost 5 years now.
   Sunday Justin took the boys to the grocery store in the morning and when they got back I took the boys to Blaze's first birthday party. It was a breakfast at Tiffany's theme. Very suave.
After quiet time we headed to the Charity Ball, where we for the third year in a row got 20 items together for kids who are in need. The boys helped fill the boxes. They also got a chance to do lots of running around. They loved having hotdogs, fruit salad and caramel corn for dinner. We had a fun and did a good deed. We had a fun weekend- now we just need to adjust to the time change.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween and Halloween parties

  We got together with friends at the pumpkin patch in costume to run around and have Halloween cupcakes. Ollie and I went to another pumpkin patch and went on the hay ride. We also attended a costume party as a family and had a good time with lots of friends. I went to a party for Witches were we exchanged our favorite things.
  The most fun party was the preschool Halloween party. It was a potluck lunch with pumpkin decorating and outdoor playing.
  On Halloween we started out the day with orange milk in our cereal for some festive fun. In the afternoon we carved our pumpkins and then Grammy and Pops came up to hang out.
We had a jack-o-lantern pot pie for dinner. When it was dusk Superman (Justy), Cat woman (Me), Robin (Van) and Batman (Ollie) headed out on the court to trick-or-treat. Oliven wanted to eat each piece of candy as he got it. Ollie made it up and down our street and was done after a scary house.
  He enjoyed coming back and eating some candy as well as handing out candy with Pops to the other kids. Van and Justin went a little further. It was a fun evening and the kids really enjoyed themselves.
 We handed out several pieces of candy to each kid, but managed to give all of our candy away by 8:30pm. That was a record for us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Construction Fiasco

    On the way to preschool this morning there was construction going on (as there has been for the last month off and on), well, it' looked like the place to drive through as the cones were open, and it turned out that I drove over a huge long hole in the street. Cu chunk, cu chunk went the car. The hubcap went flying. I got out of the car and said, "you better move those cones together so it looks like it's not a place to drive through! My friend Rachel was about to drive through right behind me. The hole was all across the street, the guy swears it was only 5 inches deep and about 3 feet wide. It did not go well for the car. One of the hub caps went flying. I had to wait for a cop to come to tell him about it. His advice was for me to call insurance. They say if the construction company takes the blame great, if not it's a no fault issue and I am responsible for the first $500. Great. We just went through this recently when Justin was hit by an uninsured motorist....really again??? It looks like the alignment might be off and one of the rims is a little bent. We will have to take it in to see if anything else is going on. Now we get to wait and see what the construction company says. It's frustrating because it is 100% their fault and I will probably have to pay for it anyway. At least we weren't hurt. The guy says that I should take the car to a mechanic to see if it is safe to drive...I'm not going to drive my little kids around to see IF it's safe...so I'm home waiting for Justin to come home.
   On the up side Oliven got to go inside and hang out at preschool while I dealt with everything outside in the rain. He had a blast. He really liked the trains, puzzles and sharing time. Vander wanted to know if Ollie could have his own cubby. Too bad I can't afford to send them both to preschool at the same time. They really enjoyed the time together.