Friday, December 27, 2013

Hey! Ho! Holiday Cheer!

I feel like our holiday season started on Leeloo's birthday this year. That day happened to be the same as the tree lighting in our little square, during which she met Santa for the first time (some words take her forever - but Santa - first time first try, and it stuck).
So, yay for this years holiday extravaganza! Here are the highlights:

Birthday night:

Botanical Gardens:

Our felt tree:

Like Santa, "snow" was an easily identified word.
(at Legoland to see snow)

Christmas Day:

 Christmas 2: with the brothers

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Beach Days

So right now it's freezing everywhere. Not just wintery cold, but serious freezing. I don't know what's happening here. But I feel like were in an early spring. We had three weeks of winter and now we're all in short sleeves again. Weird yes, but I'm totally loving it. Especially because it means that we can have beach days over the boys holiday break.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lights at the Botanical Gardens

After all the death/loss/tragedy I am finally starting to get the holiday spirit back. This year we did lots of things with the kiddos that were jolly. One of which was visiting the local Botanical Gardens which is kinda great. We happened to go to a bday party there and it's very much kid oriented.
However, we planned a quick trip on one of the coldest nights we've had. It was packed and dark. We also went mostly because they had snow, but that turned out to be one little dingy rectangle of mushy ice.

We had fun, but I think we'll save the next entry fee ( $50: two adults, two kids, youngest was free) for a daytime event :)

The event did have a big win though, I actually got a great pic of the kids and managed to get a holiday card out. First one in 10 years I think - def. 1st one since I've been suburbanized. So, there was that!

First Marshmallow

She had to sneak into the brother pic. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Super casual simple park birthday

When your daughter has a gaggle of friends you find yourself at lots of toddler parties. Indoor, outdoor, fancy, plain - parties of every shape and size. For Leeloo's 2nd birthday I wanted to do something simple. I decided that we would just have a morning in the park. Not even the bigger park that we usually attend, just a small little neighborhood park down the street, which is usually empty.

The chica's birthday happened to be on a Friday, so I set the date for the party on the next day, Sat from 10-1. I also thought that, since she's blessed with so much, we should just have a book exchange, and then everyone could go home with something. Park, book exchange, maybe some snacks, oh and a piñata (because it's required), easy peasy.

Oh, and if we were going to have a book exchange, the kids needed a reading space, so I thought, why not make a teepee that the kids could sit in? The piñata also had to be handmade, because the ones in the stores are super cardboardy and you need a chainsaw to break them. Piñata, teepee, park, snacks, a cinch.

Then I started the invite list. Friends, family, our friends with kids. It soon grew to over 40 people. So snacks became a little more involved than I initially thought. Fruit, and sandwiches, but those are boring, maybe sandwich skewers, with star shapes? We also needed veggies, so veggie rolls, Yeah. And for dessert, cupcakes. But I didn't want to buy them - because that is entirely too simple. I wanted angel food cupcakes with strawberries and a whip cream frosting. But whip cream melts - so a mascarpone frosting. Which meant I needed to buy a piping tip too. Super casual simple park bday.

Did I mention that I also hosted Thanksgiving at my house? We had a Halloween party, then we went to visit Arizona for a couple of weeks, followed by Thanksgiving, and her birthday was a week after. No pressure.

It was mostly all under control until the monday before. That's the day that a friend asked me if I had looked at the weather (which I never do). She said there was a chance of rain. Great.
So everyday after that I checked the weather. Mon: 15% chance. No biggie. Tues: 40% chance, I sent out and Evite warning that there might have to be a plan B. Wed: 60% chance, I had to actually start thinking about a plan B. Thurs: 100% chance of rain on Sat (with the temp in the 50's), this is where I may have had a bit of a freak-out.

I thought about all logical indoor alternatives. I had a cafe say they could accommodate us (but what do you do with two year olds in a cafe?), and I also had a very nice friend offer up her house (which I declined and then told her the size of the guest list). Ultimately, I had to bite the bullet and postpone the party by a day (Sun: 0% chance of rain). There were a couple of cancellations, but mostly people were flexible.

Saturday morning we woke up and it was sunny. Seriously. Bright blue sky and sunny. At this point I was cursing the gods - or a least the meteorologist. However, by 11:30 it was pouring. We would have been soaked. My faith was restored.

By Sunday the rain had cleared up. It was still way colder than we're used to (in the fifties), but it was sunny and not too soggy. In the end there were only two families that couldn't make it, and the rest of the day went smoothly. Just another little birthday in the park. No big thing.

Link to my Pinterest idea board.

Friday, December 6, 2013

And she's 2!

I didn't realize how full our day was until I gathered all the pics and video. Her big party is on the weekend, but her day had to be special too. I think this chiquita is getting the idea behind this whole birthday thing!

2 year stats:

Height - taller than most of her friends.

Words -
The new addition is "mine" (not mami's favorite).
She says "pleeeeaaaase" with both eyes closed and her hands clasped in front of her.
She's also learning how to apologize - the words aren't there, but she gently pets your cheek if she's sorry.
She also has little Ripley-isms: Num-nummies = food. Beep beep = car.
The rest are a mix of one word spanglish. She'll string together things like "Mami no", "ready, set, go!" or "where'd he go?" but no full sentences yet.
Her favorite phrase: Where's grandpa?

Fave toys:
Mimi bunny - first thing that she's actually named.
Harmonica - and she's so good at it!
Any type of ball.
Any type of hat.
And the newly discovered baby doll.

Chiquita banana loves to color or paint or draw. Lately she's begun to copy what mommy does. Circles, straight lines, zig zags. It's one of our favorite activities.

She's begun to hug and kiss her friends goodbye. It's too amazingly adorable.

Screen time:
Her first favorite movie was Hotel Transylvania. New faves include: The Lorax, Tinkerbell, Curious George, Caillou, Yo Gabba Gabba and Monster's Inc. She'll sit intently if she likes what's on - if she doesn't, the screen won't even grab her attention (sand for the boys when they're trying to watch their shows and she only wants them to play).

She loves everything! And she loves to have dance parties!

Silly-ness: She's a copy-cat. One thing that's constant: when she sees someone fall, she lays down and grabs her knee while saying "ow, ow, ow" (all with a smile).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Two years without Mia

I see twins everywhere, everyday. It doesn't make me sad to see them, or jealous, but it makes me think that no matter how wonderful Ripley is, Ripley & Mia would have been amazing. My hubby gives me the whole "everything happens for a reason" line. I think the universe is more random. 

Mia is gone. Every year we will send her little presents. Good and happy thoughts into the atmosphere. She was a part of me and now is a part of everything. Oh Mia mine.

Fletcher's Cove 2013