Sunday, September 29, 2013

two wheelin'

Adam has been working with Declan on riding his two wheel bike. Every time we go to the park Adam makes Declan ride two laps around the park. The other night the little guy made some good progress. I think that once we get him on some open asphalt, we might have an official two wheelin' bike rider on our hands!

And we don't want to leave Lexi out of the two wheelin' post. She has been practicing on her balance bike too. It's hard to get her on this right now because she is obsessed with scooting on her scooter - but she is making some progress too!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

28/52 {birthday wishes}

I am officially in a new age demographic. Hence the reason I scheduled my very first Foto Facial ;)
For my birthday I wish for age 25 skin the rest of my life. Ha, ha!
What can I say, a woman's got to age gracefully.
Thirty-five. It's going to be a good year!

Friday, September 27, 2013

taking stock

I saw this on another blog and thought it would be the perfect thing to do on my final day of being 34.
Making : space on my computer as I take on the daunting task of deleting the ridiculous amount of excess pictures I took over the summer.
Cooking : taco bowls in the crock pot
Drinking : chai tea. as always.
Reading: photography tutorials
Wanting: to become a CMPro
Looking: forward. We finally made the decision not to go for #3. I am both sad and relieved.
Playing: at the park in the evenings with bubbles, and chalk, and bikes, and a big purple ball. It is the best.
Wasting: time with Adam. For the first time in a long time I am caught up with editing and get to spend the evening on the couch with my better half instead of on the computer.
Sewing: Thanksgiving garland for our window seat window. Well, lets be honest. I put Thanksgiving garland together and handed it off to Mimi for the final stitching.
Wishing: for rain and cooler weather
Enjoying: my quiet afternoons
Waiting: for an email
Liking: seeing the kids in winter jammies
Wondering: what to get the kids for Christmas this year
Loving: that Lexi cannot pronounce the letter "v", so "I love you momma" sounds like "I lub you momma" and tv sounds like tb. Kills me.
Hoping: for more patience
Marveling: that Declan is old enough to be learning to ride a bike. Love that kid.
Needing: new face moisturizer
Smelling: dinner cooking
Wearing: a pumpkin orange long sleeved shirt I bought over the summer. I've been waiting to wear it since July.
Following: other photographers - always looking for ideas
Noticing: the pumpkin flavored pastries at Starbucks
Knowing: change is inevitable
Thinking: that I need to potty train Lexi, again.
Bookmarking: fall recipes
Opening: birthday cards
Giggling: with Mimi at all the silly things the kids do during the day. I love that I get to share this with her.
Feeling: hopeful

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Declan, 4.5

Four and a half. Only six short months left of your toddler years. And you couldn't be more excited. You ask me how many more sleeps until you turn five every other day. So there is a bit of a dichotomy going on - I want you to stay four and you want to be five. Because, simply put, you are having a great year as a four year old. Watching you grow up is one of our greatest joys. You are so full of life and love...and questions! There is a lot of figuring out going on in that brain of yours. You have a very serious side to you as you investigate, observe, and learn. Age four has also recently challenged me in new ways. We pretty much skated through for about five months where you were absolutely perfect. Obviously that can't last forever! About a month ago you've really started pushing the limits as they say...sometimes I feel like we are living with a moody teenager. Your favorite line to me right now is "...I told you..." in quite the sarcastic voice. Often I am left with my jaw dropped, wondering where my son went. But your dad and I are steadfast and strong as we continue to help each other reinforce our expectations of you. This parenting business is not always pleasant. If I've learned anything in the last four and a half years is that everything is a phase and we just have to ride it out. Blaming it on the testosterone surge they say four year old boys get around this time makes me feel better. :) Even with our recent challenges, you continue to make my heart burst with love. Even when you are pushing me away, I go ahead and squeeze your cuteness a little tighter because quite frankly I am over the moon about you. You have such a serene gentleness about you. Courage mixed with caution, love of people and friends, and an ease with transitions that blows me away. I am also noticing that you've inherited your dads competitive nature as you rush to be the line leader, love winning when we play board games, and proudly announce anytime you win at anything...even if you haven't won. You crack me up kid and your sparkle and shine adds to the enjoyment of each and every day. We are all full of love for you Declan.

We just did an update on you about a month ago, so there aren't too many new details...but here are a few things defining your life nowadays:

Stats - 34 lbs and 42 inches. Slowly moving into size 5T , although that tiny waste of yours still rocks a size 2t in shorts.

Lily-bug -  You and Lily have always been close, but recently you have become crazy about her. Seriously - you see her almost every day at school and the gym, and I am quite certain she is the best part of your day. You no longer call her Lily, it is only "Lily-bug" or "my Lily-bug". The two of you make a good little team.

My Little Pony - Your dad always says to me how he is going to make fun of you about this when you are older. Lately you are kind of obsessed with the My Little Pony show. You don't play with Lexi's ponies - you just enjoy the show. Especially a blue pony named Rainbow Dash. I for one love that you watch the show - it is nice to have a break from trains all of the time.

Birthday Parties - You love everything about birthdays - parties, cake, presents. One of your favorite games to play with your sister is pretend birthday party. You two are always going to a birthday party - outside int he playhouse, in the bath tub, in your room. There are a lot of birthday parties at our house!

Green - the color. You love it. Anytime you have a choice and there is something green, you always chose the green one. It is kind of known around here - you get green (plates, cups, paper, etc) and Lexi gets the purple.

Babies - Oh my! You are a lover of small, soft babies. We've had a surge of exposure to babies lately and you always initiate interaction with them - want to look at them and hold them if you are allowed. And not just small babies - you love little kids too. You are so good at including them - this is a trait I absolutely adore in you and I hope you always have it.

Board Games - We've recently started playing a couple different board games in the evenings. We usually do it in teams and your dad and I initiate a little smack talking (all in good fun). You just love the excitement of the game - especially when your team pulls ahead. Through these games we've also had to teach you about cheating! An interesting twist I wasn't expecting, but I guess would be totally normal.

Other People Doing Things for You - Lately you seem to keep trying to pawn off your responsibilities onto other people - mainly your sister. When I ask you if you want to do spelling, you say that Lexi can do it. Or if I ask you to clear the table, you again suggest Lexi. Even encouraging you to talk to adults, you always tell me that I ask or say Lexi can do it. This is all very recent - as before you were excited about your responsibilities and learning. Even when I ask you to get dressed in the morning, you tend to want my help. I am taking this with a grain of salt, and only pushing the necessary things because you just seem to need a break. I guess you could say we're just taking it slow and riding out the wave.

Singing - I've noticed (especially since you began preschool again) that you come home singing different songs. And you are always very opinionated on which songs you want to listen to in the car. Next month you begin choir on Tuesdays after school. I am excited and interested to see how this goes, as we've never tried anything like this before.

Snuggles - you continue to be one of the most affectionate kids I've ever know. You love snuggling and still twist your fingers in peoples hair - something you've been doing since you were one. There is not a doubt in my mind that you've got a lot of love in you kid.

Riding Your Bike - I haven't posted a video of this yet, but you are making progress on pedaling on your two wheel bike! It is so exciting to watch!

Mustangs - I figure this gives you your man card back after the My Little Pony bit. :) But seriously, you are crazy about Mustangs and really good at pointing out each and every one on the road. It is quite impressive. 

Declan, just last year you were barely talking to us and boarder-line potty trained. Now you are such a little person interacting and questioning all on your own. You continue to amaze and influence us in ways that always surprise me. I absolutely adore age four and the ups and downs that come with it. I love you with every inch and then some kiddo. 

A few more pictures of you at age 4.5-

the butterfly effect

The other night I was taking some pictures of the kids. I was trying to get a close up of Lexi, so I pulled out one of my tricks. I told her if she looked closely into my camera and smiled, she might see a butterfly (I pass off the shutter snap as the butterfly). Well this little trick did not work at all on our girl. 
Just look at the pictures it produced.

Man she is trying hard. Not really the kind of smile I was going for.
This girl cracks. me. up.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

time is on my side

I am relishing in Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday afternoons. I am telling you, a girl could get used to this. Ever since Declan stopped napping almost exactly two years ago, this momma kicked it into high gear. I mean toddler time all day without a break is pretty intense. Especially when the certain toddler has more energy than the energizer bunny. I feel like I've been on a hamster wheel for two years. Don't get me wrong, I've loved my time with Declan. But a breather here and there would have been nice. Insert afternoon preschool and a 2 1/2 year old who actually loves to sleep...and you get yourself. Quiet. It's an amazing thing when you haven't had it in awhile. The first day of preschool after dropping Declan off and laying Lexi down - I experienced it for the first time - the quiet...quiet...quiet for hours. Seriously, it was like angels singing. My newly found free time isn't spent on anything too interesting - mainly editing pics, but it is allowing me to go to bed at a decent hour. I feel like a new woman. Can I get an amen for afternoon preschool?!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September Snaps

Compared to the summer months, our September has been pretty uneventful...and I'm loving it! It's nice to catch up on some things around the house and enjoy a slower schedule.
 It's the calm before the holiday storm, and I'm enjoying every minute of it!

Some of our highlights from our kicked back week last week.

Krissy and I did a kid switch last week - she watched mine on Wednesday and I watched hers on Thursday. We haven't been to the Botanical Gardens all summer (except for concerts of course!) so I decided to take the kids on my day. The newness of the day was awesome! It was like our first time visiting. The kids had a great time. 
It was arts and crafts time! The girls loved getting their craft on!

She insisted on wearing putting a band-aide on before leaving the house that morning. Cracks me up.
We timed it just right and happened to be there when James the conductor brought his special trains. Declan and Ella couldn't take their eyes of the locomotives. :)
Bubble time!

 Girls gone fishin'.
Lily and Declan were obsessed with their train maps.

We squeezed in a wonderful dinner at Califia beach with the Ceja family. I love these evenings. I hope we can squeeze in a few more before the sun sets too early.

Adore these four! Such a great evening!

 Pretty much the whole beach to ourselves.

We've been spending a lot of time at the park. Jackson, who lives two doors down has become our little park buddy.
Bubbles (compliments of Mimi) kept these three entertained. :)

Declan checking out Jackson's new little sis (just 3 weeks old), Avery.

Lexi wanted a peek too!

 This girl can't get enough of her scooter!
 Chalk fun!

The Rowe family came over to watch football on Sunday! Such a fun day and wonderful to see our long time friends.
The three little football fans enjoying a cookie :)
Last week we had our first play date sand Micah. We met Jaimie and Kylie at Califia for some beach/train fun. We certainly missed our kinder friend - especially one little boy named Declan, but it was great to have some catch-up time with the girls!

Mimi took the kids shopping to kick start their fall wardrobe. We picked up Lexi's Halloween costume along the way. The girl walked around the mall in her butterfly wings for the better part of the day. She did not want to take them off. I absolutely love how into Halloween she is. It's going to be a good one this year - I can feel it!
Butterfly wings make fantastic shadows!
 A mall visit is not complete without a train ride!

Now I'm just hoping for some fall weather to really sink us into our lazy days.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

26/52 {goldbug}

The search for Goldbug will never get old. Thank you Richard Scarry.

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