Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seriously...this again?

Add - I think the clothes have to come off BEFORE you sit on the potty.

I'm in for a long day. I've been putting off potty training Addison for some time now. The painful memories of potty training Ellie are still fresh in my mind. And this is Addison. Remember this post? She is my Jekyll/Hyde child. Sweet and delightful one minute - stubborn and mischievous the next. She started showing signs of being ready in October, but we were traveling a lot. Then of course I had to wait until after the busy holiday season. Our trip to Disneyland was my next excuse. Alas, I'm out of excuses. It's got to be done. I am NOT looking forward to this.

I'm all set with our potty chart and stickers, bubble gum (Addison's all time favorite treat), and LOTS and LOTS of my Resolve Carpet cleaner. Wish me luck. I'm gonna need it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy!


Which I just learned this morning means Happy Chinese New Year! At Ellie's preschool they are celebrating the Chinese New Year today. All the kids wore red and the day is full of fun Chinese New Year festivities - parades, music, and neat art projects to celebrate this holiday. (Last year they brought in a huge paper dragon!) One of Ellie's best friends is Chinese and she and her mom did the neatest presentation this morning during singing time (her little outfit was so cute!). I have to say that this is one thing I LOVE about Ellie's preschool and about living in San Diego. Celebrating diversity. Ellie and I have both learned so much the past few years about various traditions and customs. A lot of our friends and neighbors are from all over the world. Everyone has different customs and religous beliefs and it's all accepted. Anything goes! I remember (from my teaching days) a conversation some of my 5th graders were having about religion..."I'm a Catholic"..."My mom is a Jew and my dad is a Baptist"...."My parents are Methodist." Each was answered with "cool" and then they ran to play together on the swings. I'll never forget that. I grew up in Utah and while I really do love Utah, I definitely did not grow up with the diversity my kids are growing up with. It makes me so happy that they are learning first hand to love and accept everyone regardless of ethnicity or religion. So to all of you today...GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Disneyland

Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth. :) The girls were captivated by all of the characters and in LOVE with all of the rides (Addison is a little daredevil!).
We had a great trip!
{PRINCESSES}





















































My girls are at such fun ages for meeting the princesses! I wish I could have recorded the dialogue. Addison told them all how pretty they were and couldn't stop hugging and staring at them. Ellie wanted to discuss life as a princess saying things like "Ariel...you really have to watch out for Ursula, don't you!?" They loved having their little autograph books signed and were completely awestruck. I don't know who was having more fun...the girls meeting real princesses or Kenny and I watching them. :)

{MORE FUN CHARACTERS}
























































{MICKEY & MINNIE}
{RIDES}
I was so impressed with my little 2 year old this trip! When we took Ellie to Disneyland for the first time at age 3 she was scared of everything. I was gearing up to spend the whole day with Addie on the carousel and Dumbo. We took her on the Peter Pan ride thinking she'd probably bawl (like Ellie did) but we were SO wrong. She LOVED IT! She talked through the whole ride saying things like "UH OH...we're going fast aren't we mommy! Wheee! This is so fun mommy! Hi Captain Hook! STARS!" Then the second it was over..."AGAIN AGAIN!" We were so excited that we took her on everything in the park that she was tall enough to do - even the roller coaster in Toon Town which is fast. She loved it all and wasn't scared a bit! I loved that we all stayed together as a family the whole time and never had to separate.









There was only one snag on our trip. We told Ellie she could pick out a toy for her birthday and she fell in love with a baby Minnie. She wanted to carry it with her everywhere. When we were getting ready in our hotel room to hit the park for day 2 she asked if she could bring Minnie. Kenny said no...I said "Oh - let her bring it. She loves it. What's the big deal?" Kenny didn't think it was a good idea...I told him to lighten up. The picture above is of Kenny and Ellie on Toads Wild Ride. You can see baby Minnie on her lap before the ride. Addison and I were right behind them and at the end of the ride...no baby Minnie. She was driving the car and must have dropped it somewhere along the way. There wasn't much we could do (they won't stop the ride) and Ellie was in TEARS. We of course went and bought her ANOTHER baby Minnie and Kenny had a great time rubbing in how right he was and how the world would be a better place if everyone would just listen to him. I feel it is important to document this tidbit for our family history since it is EXTREMELY RARE that Kenny is right and I am wrong. :)

Whole family in Toon Town. This trip was so fun! We ended up buying season passes to Disneyland for the year. I convinced Kenny it was all for the girls, but we both know that it's more for me than anyone. Living so close to Disneyland was one of the things I was most excited about when we moved to San Diego. I can't wait to be able to head up for 4-5 hours on a random Saturday. It's nice to not feel like you have to rush to see and do everything in one trip. I'm sure we'll be spending lots of time at this beloved park. Small World has been renovated and improved and will be open in February. I'm so on it - already planning our next trip. Anyone up for a visit??? :)






















On the way home...completely worn out!

***side note: This trip was Addison's first time sleeping in a "big girl bed." When the crib was brought into our room she said "I'm a big girl - I want to sleep with Ellie!" We let her and couldn't believe how easy that transition was! They slept great and I couldn't stop peeking at how cute they looked laying next to each other. Aside from Ellie turning 5 and Addie sleeping in a bed for the first time, Addison also stopped calling Ellie "Lolly" on this trip. :( They really are growing up too fast. Kenny and I still call her Lolly in hopes that Addison will go back and decide to stay LITTLE just a LITTLE bit longer.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy 5th B-day Ellie!


My sweet Ellie turned 5 years old today. I can't believe it. She is growing up WAY too quickly. I told her she could have a big party with all of her friends OR do something smaller with one friend and then go to Disneyland with the family. She chose Disneyland (YEA!) so today we went to Chuck E Cheese with her friend Madison (and Madison's family) and then came to our house for pizza, presents, and cake. It was a fun, low key day and she loved it! (Disneyland trip is in the works!)

I love my Ellie so much. She is such a happy, sweet girl and her smile is contagious. She came home from pre-school the other day and told me "mom, I was trying to be mad today like this (attempt to frown), but I just couldn't!" (huge grin spreads across her face) We laughed and I thought - that just sums up my Ellie...unable to be anything but happy! She is outgoing, considerate of others' feelings (she can't stand it if she thinks someone is mad or sad), and the best big sister. She is so cute with Addison - always helping her out and showing her the ropes. She makes me smile every single day and I can't imagine my life without her. Ellie - I love you more than you'll ever know. (until you have your own daughter someday...then maybe you'll know :) Happy 5th birthday!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Morning at the Beach

***Does this picture look familiar? I love snapping a picture each time the girls head down the walkway to our beach :)

The weather this week has been absolutely amazing, so when Thursday morning came around (our one morning we don't have anything on our agenda) the girls and I decided it was time for the beach! We had such a fun morning. The beach was so quiet and beautiful...just a few surfers, joggers, and us. Thinking the water would be cold (it is January after all), I put the girls in their play dresses. I thought we would just walk along the beach and then head to the beach park, but they were having so much fun wading in the water (which didn't feel much colder than it is in July), throwing rocks, running from waves, and chasing the seagulls that we never made it to the park. I wished I would have just put them in swimsuits!

Impressed? j/k no - we didn't build this fun sand castle but we were glad that whoever did build it left it up for us to enjoy. The girls loved it!



















Addison is always a little scared to step into the waves without Ellie's help. I have so many pictures of the two of them holding hands walking towards the waves. This shot never gets old to me. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Good Things

'Bright eyed and Blueberry' Jamba Juice AND being able to get through the grocery store with my two year old because she has one as well. More of it ends up on her shirt than in her mouth but at least I'm not plowing people over in the aisles trying to catch my little curly headed girl as she runs away from me.

A clean house and garage after recovering from Christmas craziness and travel.

Target sacks. Best garbage liner you can find. They're much bigger and stronger than the regular grocery store sacks. My mom and I judge whether or not it was a "good Target day" based on how many extra sacks we are able to convince the store clerk to give us. My mom is the master. She has been "moving her classroom" for four years now.





















New Christmas toys! My girls have been so content to stay at home and play with all of their new stuff. Almost a little too content. They have been protesting leaving the house, getting dressed, and having their hair done. So much so that I have just given up on it! Here they are riding around the neighborhood mid-day in their new Barbie Jeep with wild hair and pajamas still on. Oh well...they're happy! (love that they take their kitty cats in the back of the jeep on each ride)

Automatic pencil sharpeners

Fun Date night. We explored "Little Italy" in downtown San Diego Saturday night and found the best little Italian restaurant. Good food with good friends!

Sunday walk with my family


Speaking of Sunday walk, we are finally enjoying Fall... in January. The Seasons are so messed up here! In October when you want a chill in the air and colorful leaves, we're sweating in our Halloween costumes. In January when it's supposed to be "hole up in your house by the fireplace" weather it's warm and the leaves drop. Then in June when everyone else is at the pool, "June Gloom" sets in on the coast leaving it cloudy and cool. Through it all the temperature only varies by about 10 degrees. Takes a little getting used to...but I love it!






Jack Johnson. I've loved listening to Jack Johnson lately when we are home just cleaning and doing our thing. Mellow, happy music - it just seems to set the right tone. I'm hoping that playing music in the house more will help me keep one New Year's goal - less TV. (For the girls of course. I'm not giving up any of my regularly recorded programs.)

Speaking of regularly recorded programs, I'm loving The Mentalist. I developed a slight crush on Simon Baker in Devil Wears Prada - had to check him out in this Fall's new drama.


Ellie's Saturday morning cartoon of choice these days is Smurfs. Takes me right back to my childhood and I find myself still captivated with Brainey's brains, Smurfette's cuteness, and Papa Smurf's infinite wisdom.



My new Teacher's Plan Book. Not teaching again... just had an "ah ha" moment and realized it works great as an every day planner with room for to-do lists on the side.

Phone calls with my mom. My mom and I each set a New Year's Goal when we were together over Christmas that we weren't going to talk to each other on our cell phones when driving. Even though I use my earpiece (California law you know) it's still dangerous. And there's the fact that when talking on my cell phone while driving I've been known to miss a freeway exit...or two or three. So my mom and I had a good laugh when in the first week of January she called and we were both in our cars...and of course HAD to discuss something. We'll try again next year mom!




Love my little Picassos!












I've heard some buzz about picking out a word each year for a New Year's goal...a word that describes what you want to focus on for the year. I've decided that my word for 2009 is going to be "ACTION." I'm great at planning, making lists, and thinking about projects I'd love to do, but not so good at just diving in and getting them done. SO...this is going to be my year to complete things I've been planning to complete for quite a while now. Wish me luck!!! ***Nice that when I told Kenny my word for the year he had a VERY different meaning in mind. This is a G - rated blog so I won't go into details. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New

New toothbrushes
New clothes to wear
New air, water, and vacuum filters
New goals
New lip gloss I'm loving
New toys for the girls to play with
New pictures that need developing
New workout mix on my ipod
New trips to look forward to
New pedicure (sandals year round here!)
New church time
New appreciation for my husband's job in this down economy
New red barn calendar
New energy efficent light bulbs
New projects percolating in my mind
It's a New Year!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Party's Over

Monday morning. Kenny's back at work. Ellie's back at Pre-school. Addison's watching Barbie Island Princess with blankie and thumb in mouth. And as for me...time to tackle the house. Vacation is definitely over! I have a mountain of Christmas to put away and still haven't unpacked from our trip to Utah. Dishes, laundry...YUCK. Why do Mondays often feel like this? Especially the Monday after Christmas break. Double YUCK.

New fun folders I'm using to help stay organized this year

Don't know if I'm quite ready to take these down. I think I'll leave them up a bit longer. :)