Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Big Heart

Arabella handed me a note on Christmas Eve that said, "Mom Mi big hart is fl ov love." It took me only moments to translate, and it made Mommy's big heart full of pride. She loves to makes books and notes to anyone and everyone, but she usually asks us to spell out the words for her. On that day she sounded them out on her own, and I could not have been more proud of her effort. Fast forward to Saturday. We went up to Mount Shasta for some ski lessons and then a trip to the Skating Rink. As most of you know, Arabella aspires to be an "Ice Skating Princess Singer" when she grows up. She was very excited to go to the rink and try her hand at skating. We took her last year and she got out there while holding an instructors hand, but she was very apprehensive about it. I had assumed we would have more of the same this year - Arabella skating along the edge, holding onto the side or holding onto someones hand as they skated with her. It was like that for the first 20 minutes or so, but suddenly my girl got the hang of it and she was all over the place. Gary and I were both completely amazed. My big heart was again full of pride - as was Daddy's and her own. She was so very proud of herself. Here are a couple of pics from that day. I haven't even had time to edit Christmas photos, but I thought I would pop these up for our family. You would have been so astounded at our little Ice Skating Princess Pooh Bear.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let Me See Your Marbles...

I have another "Blakeyism" to add to my collection. Last night when I was putting him to bed, I was laying on his bed with him after story giving him a hug. He bent down and kissed my shoulder (he is very kissy) and then pushed my head sideways and said, "Mommy, I was to see your marbles." He was looking at my neck and referring to my moles. I like his marble term better.

These are some pics from Mount Shasta this past weekend. He really loved skiing, but he loved eating the snow even better. He had the time of his life. I had a hard time getting a picture with his tongue actually in his mouth. When we finally ended our play session and got in the car, his cheeks were rosy with excitement. He is such a good little man.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ring, Ring...

Gary and I attended Christmas parties on both Friday and Saturday night this past weekend. The kids have been begging to open presents for the last 2 weeks, so we gave in on Saturday night before we left for our night out and let them pick out one present to open. Arabella automatically went to this purple tote decorated with her name on it with a mystery gift inside. This gift, from Claire in Pennsylvania, had been taunting her since it arrived last week so I was not surprised when she chose it. It was a bedroom door bell - shaped in a pink princess crown. Our babysitter, Carol, arrived about 15 minutes after the gift was opened. Arabella was very excited about it. She informed Carol, "Whenever I ring this bell, it means that I need something and you should come to me." Nice, huh? Just what she needs. Of course, I immediately informed her that she was not to summon anyone to her. She obliged with a sly grin as though she knew she was being a little turkey and thought it was big fun. What am I going to do with this Princess?

These pictures are from Mount Shasta on Sunday. We took the kids up there for our favorite Thai food and some light skiing on the mountain. They ate more snow than they skied, but that was the fun of it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh, Santa!

This picture sums up the Santa experience better than I could do in words. That little boy behind those hands is my precious Blakey, Olivia held nothing back in her opinion of the jolly one and the super model to the right is my little Pooh Bear. Oh, poor Santa...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Fam

I should have used this on our Christmas card. Lynette took this picture, and I love it. Every one is so real...just as they always are in this photo - no posing. I love these people.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Say Cheese!

The kids were warming up in front of the fireplace after bathtime the other night with Daddy, and I grabbed my camera for a photo op. What is with Blake's cheese face? Is that a genetic kid trait? He gives me joy, as usual.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Tree Cutting 2008

We got a Christmas tree last weekend as I was too impatient to wait for today to go cut one, but we accompanied our friend, Thad and his family, to Castle Crags today purely for the adventure. The kids loved trudging through the forest (they even found a bit of snow to throw) and Gary got to use his chainsaw. I am not sure who was more excited about it - Gary or Blake?:) Boys will be boys...

Friday, November 28, 2008

What Are You Thankful For?

We asked the kids yesterday at dinner what they were thankful for. Arabella replied like the little princess she is by saying, "I am thankful for my family." We then asked Blakey, who looked around thoughtfully for a moment before replying, "I am thankful for my jackhammer." We all just nodded in agreement. Then the two of them looked at Olivia who was next in our question and answer session. Arabella answered for her, "I think Olivia is thankful for her corn dog" as Liv munched happily away on her Thanksgiving corn dog and grinned.

These photos are just a couple of snapshots from our relaxing day yesterday. The kids enjoyed the beautiful weather while Gary and I enjoyed having no schedule and watching them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

All Boy

Blake, Mommy would like to take a picture of your new haircut. Can you smile for me??

Please - Just once - can you smile for Mommy???
I am super fast, so I got this moment-lasting grin. This boy is content to stick his tongue out and make funny faces at all times. And if you know him. you know he doesn't mean it in a bad way, but just is trying to be a little turkey. We finally took him to a real hairdresser - as real as you can call the place that has the horse he can sit on while his hair is cut. But, he liked it and I got none of the fuss. He looks like such a big boy to me. He has been saying funny things recently. I have been trying to catalog all of them, but have been too busy to track them well. I remember a couple of weeks ago he asked, "Mommy, am I big now?" I said, "You are getting big. Why do you ask?" He said, "Cause I want to be big enough to marry you." That was a make Mommy melt moment. Last weekend I was reading him a book and he said, "Mommy, you have to see these. These are slobbers." They were sloths, but I kind of like "slobbers" better. Then tonight, as I was trying to coax him to relaxing for sleep, he reached over his bed and got his water bottle. He took a long drink. I watched him thinking he was so thirsty...my boy must be growing. He then started gurgling the water very loudly. Thirsty, but also apparently, all boy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just Hangin' Out

Arabella had her last soccer game of the season last weekend. She was so close - so very, very close to getting a goal. In fact, we think she may have touched the ball on it's way in when another player kicked it. Daddy still needs time to analyze the video (think instant replay ala U-6 soccer) Alas, our girl was just not aggressive. Time and time again she would have the ball at the goal and not kick it in. When asked why, she would respond, "There was someone in the way" or "Everybody was kicking and I might get kicked." It was classic. All said and done, she says that she likes it a lot and she wants to play again next year with Blake on her team, as he will be old enough to play next fall. It should be pretty entertaining. Anyway, here are some shots while we were playing around the soccer park during and after the game.

Go Falcons!

I love the look on her face - What MOM???

Boogie was a little zebra on front and back. This outfit was one of Arabella's hand-me-downs:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Arabella's First Date

Thank goodness for us, it was Daddy. Grant had their annual Father-Daughter Dance this past Friday. I was very excited for the occasion so I made a corsage for Gary to give to her. It really was the sweetest thing when he gave it to her. He said, "Arabella, will you be my date to the Father-Daughter Dance?" She sweetly obliged. Although she only wore the corsage for a few minutes because she deemed it "itchy", I did manage to snap a pic before they left. Gary was a little hesitant about this evening event picturing all of the Dad's standing around staring at each other while their daughters danced about, but he really had a great time. They both came home with big smiles and stories from the evening full of dancing and fun. Now we just have to figure out how to keep her Daddy as her only date for the next 15 years...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's Hard Work

It's really hard work being three years old. Blake has been transitioning from little dude to big boy and in the midst of it, he has been saying he no longer needs a nap. Never mind that he falls asleep in the afternoon within 10 minutes of getting into his bed...he pleas his case every afternoon. "Mommy, I am not tired. I don't need a nap," he will say. I have let him go every once in a while and he will stay up through the afternoon. Usually when I give in and let him stay up, these photos are an example of what happens. The top photo is from this last Wednesday afternoon. Gigi sent a box full of presents - the Dalmatian on his lap included. The bottom picture is from Halloween. We had a really busy day and it was around 4:00 - Blake was talking to me one second, then fell asleep leaning against the couch the next. It's always the sweetest thing when I find him like this because he is just a limp noodle. My baby boy - still a little bit of baby in there.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Totally Gross!

Many of you have probably heard me ranting about Arabella and her sudden boy craziness. She came home from the 2nd day of Kindergarten with a mammoth crush on Cade. All I heard was "Cade this...Cade that" and within a week she greeted me at the bell with the announcement, "Mommy, Cade is going to kiss me." I just about fell on the ground before telling her, "No, he is not going to kiss you." To which she wrinkled up her nose and said, "No - not now! When we are teenagers! Then we are going to get married in Hawaii." All I could think at this point was "Who is this kid and how do I get him out of her life???" The problem is that he is such a little sweetheart - and adorable little guy who loves to chase her as much as she likes to be chased. Fortunately for all of us, their undying love has mellowed a bit. We still hear about Cade, but it has dialed down a few notches (thank goodness!). Yesterday, she said the sweetest words my ears have heard since she started Kindergarten. We were watching the movie "Enchanted" with Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams. At the end, they kiss and live "happily ever after." As they were kissing Arabella blurted out, "Eeww!! Gross! Totally gross - they're kissing. That's disgusting!" To which I answered, "Yes, that is disgusting. You only kiss Mommy or Daddy. So yucky, huh?" Now I just have to figure out how to keep this "gross" idea in her head for the next 15 years. Any suggestions would be met with great enthusiasm:)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Arabella!

My little baby girl is going to be five years old tomorrow. Where has the time gone? I can remember so vividly giving birth to her like it was yesterday - seeing my baby girl for the first time - she had big bright eyes and a head full of black hair. I remember her looking at me so intently after she was born - checking me out as I was checking her out. She came out so alert and so full of life. It was truly one of the best days of my life. I can't believe what a little lady she is becoming. She is so sweet, so smart, so nurturing, so beautiful, so full of love and life...I feel so blessed to call her my baby girl. Each day I grow more proud of the person she is becoming. She is amazing.

Happy Birthday Angelface!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

Here is the gang before heading out for trick-or-treating last night. It began raining on Thursday putting a damper on Halloween, but it didn't stop our little pumpkins from getting out of the house for some candy. Liv only made it to a couple of houses before her grumpiness set in (bedtime!), but Gary stayed out with Arabella and Blake who came home with a bounty of candy...just what we needed. Gary threw together a half-way pirate costume in the morning and disturbed our children with his "missing teeth" look - Livvy kept looking at him like he had two heads. He headed to the OR that morning in a slightly less scary version of his pirate self which I have displayed below with Arabella who was dressed for school. Arabella's class had a parade and party that we attended in the morning...all of this plus pumpkin carving and getting the house ready for Arabella's Princess Party today was almost enough to send Mommy to the Funny Farm. Somehow, we pulled it off. I will post some party pics soon.

Here is our "vampire pumpkin" - Arabella's idea - Daddy's skills:

Ballerina and Ruffy Massin:

Pink Poodle with her loot:

Arabella and her BFF, Willa, at their school party:

Pirate Daddy ready for work:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Harvest Festival 2008

Today was our first time to visit the Annual Harvest Festival at Grant School. The kids were so excited to get dressed up for the adventure. Arabella was a Woodland Fairy, Blake was Obi Wan Kenobi and Liv was a Little Bee. It was quite a busy place to say the least. The kids spent the first half hour in awe of everything going on, and Mom & Dad spent the time trying to keep track of all of them. After some pumpkin and face decorating, some games and a few slushies, we left with the prize of the day - a goldfish Blake won. He named him "John, the Unicorn Goldfish" (Gary has a unicorn fish at his office that Blake really likes) and he now resides on our counter in his own bowl next to our Beta, Rico Sunshine (both named affectionately by Blakey). Just what we needed, right?? On another note, it was 90 degrees here today. Isn't it almost Halloween?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blake's Debut

Blakey made his Grant Pre-school Cubbie Performance debut this morning. He was so stinking cute. All of the kids wore their Halloween costumes and as you can see, we have Ruffy Massin in the fur. He didn't do a whole lot of singing, but he had lots of smiles for us. He was in awe of all of the people there to watch them. Best of all, his 3 girls were only about 4 feet away during the performance as we got some prime seating. The funniest part of the morning came when Olivia discovered her brother was sitting there with all of the children. She suddenly squealed, "Aaahh" and made a bee line for him. I did not catch her in time so Blake got a hug from baby sis mid performance (you will see the head-butting hug below). Everyone giggled at how cute it was, and Blake looked stunned. Arabella was so proud to attend Blake's performance (they let them leave class for the performance if they have a pre-school sibling) and see her baby brother out there. As you can see from the pictures, it was a sweet morning.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pretty Little Princess

Her Royal Highness, Arabella, requested a photo session this afternoon. Since she has the social calendar of an 18 year old, I don't often get the chance to capture her, so I took her up on it. We had a very productive half hour without one of her siblings crying or whining about something (there must be something in the air today:). We not only got to give her new tiara and Christmas dress a test run, but we also came to the very important conclusion (an A-ha!! idea on her part) that Arabella would undergo TWO wardrobe changes during her 5th Birthday party to accommodate her HRH's many sensational dresses. Very, very important decisions...next I am sure we will be considering shoe choices and hair styles.

What have I created??