Friday, December 31, 2010

Who's who?

Which little monkey:
  • Asked, "If there is a Little Ethiopia here (in Los Angeles), are there Little Americas in other parts of the world?"
  • Gets himself dressed first thing in the morning before anyone even sees him?
  • Gives away his coveted sillybands to friends at school if they don't have any?

Which little love bug:
  • Said, "Which Ethiopia did the girls come from?" (as in Little Ethiopia in Los Angeles or Big Ethiopia in Africa)
  • At bedtime, says, "I've got stuff to do at night, Mama. I'm nocturnal."?
  • When caught and scolded for cutting his sweatshirt, said, "But Mama, I'm using the fabric scissors!"

Which little peanut:
  • Loves to get comfort by laying her head on our chest to listen to Mama or Papa's heartbeat?
  • Has an easy smile?
  • Seems to be trying to imprint details of Mama in her brain by nuzzling, sniffing and even licking her at bedtime?
  • Keeps pointing to herself and saying her name because she loves to label everything?

Which little chickpea:
  • Worked up all her courage (because she is scared of dogs) to get close enough to Marley to lick her?
  • Said her first two English words: "Papa" and "Oh uh!"?
  • Loves the swing (even the big kid swing) so much that she cries when she falls off...not because she's hurt but because she desperately wants back on?
  • Is frantic to kiss other peoples' earlobes when she is upset?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day

Christmas day started with Jack waking us up. (Someone had to do it!) We promptly high-tailed it into the living room to see if Santa had been there...and he had. The boys tore into their stockings (candy, little toys, fruit, silly bands and pillow pets). The girls were a little confused about the change in the daily routine... "Where is breakfast? What are we all doing in the living room in the morning? A cookie? Forget the other questions...we are all good!"

Nana and Granddad arrived early because we needed to get the Christmas chaos in full swing so we could get to Grandmama and Grandpapa's house later in the morning. We unsuccessfully tried to control the insanity.

The gift theme this year for the boys was Star Wars (again!) and Iron Man (the cartoon, not the movie). For the girls it was dolls, dolls, more dolls and their accessories.

Jack is showing Nana his Ironman sillybands from Santa.

Cookies and clementines and all is right with the world.

I have no idea what Logan got but he was clearly excited.

So they won't tolerate a live Santa but a stuffed one is okay.

Brotherly teamwork

Bri checking out new toys.

Both girls (Des in this picture) love using signs to label everything they see.

Star Wars everything...shirts, pads of papers, figures, books and even cookie cutters!

Time to start playing...

A special thanks to my parents and Scott's parents for sharing a very special Christmas with us.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No love for Santa...

We knew it was a foolish idea to take all four young kids to see Santa. But we thought we'd attempt it anyway.

When Jack met Santa he looked like he'd been caught doing something really naughty. But at least he sat with him and said what he'd like in his stocking.

Logan refused to go closer than 15 feet to the jolly old guy. He said he'd take a picture with Santa if Santa were outside the building and Logan were inside the building and I could take the picture through the glass door! (I thought it would have made a hysterical picture but I didn't have the heart to ask Santa to do it!)

Bri thought about sitting with Santa but quickly changed her mind. And Des wanted no part of any of it unless Scott or I were holding her.

Here is one and only photo we got of us with Santa...and yes, Logan refused to participate at all.

What did they ask for? Jack wanted a pack of silly bands (all the rage among the in-crowd of kindergartners) and Logan requested a ladybug pillow pet (which I had to relay to Santa since Logan refused to speak to (or look at) him). And the girls...of course, they were rather tight-lipped on the subject but they seemed to just want more, more, more of the complimentary cookies for those who visit Santa. ;)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December Randomness...

This month has been crazy busy. Here are just a few snapshots of our daily life.

Early in the month we had a warm spell and thought we should take the girls swimming for their first time ever. Of course the pool was closed for maintainence. We headed to a friend's jacuzzi but it wasn't quite the experience we envisioned for the girls' first time in the water.

Jack and Logan managed to entertain themselves for quite a long time one morning quizzing each other about Star Wars using Papa's book.

Des and Bri can be each others worst enemies or best friends. They drive each other crazy and can easily make each other laugh.

Like we didn't have enough to accomplish this month, Logan talked me into buying him and Jack a no-sew blanket kit. I thought this would basically mean that I would be making two blankets by myself. Luckily, the boys were much more helpful than I thought and we didn't spend too long making their blankets.

Wherever I am, the girls are. This includes the kitchen when I'm trying to make breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the girls tend bring stuff, stuff and more stuff wherever they are. On this night, they've managed to get a hamper, two strollers, three stools and one wagon into the kitchen. It's quite the obstacle course when I'm trying to make a meal.

So, in an effort to keep clingy hands off my pants and the obstacle course out of the kitchen, I've started corralling the girls on the counter. Seeing as though this isn't terribly safe and is fairly nerve-wrecking for me, it's surprising that this is the only way I can get anything accomplished at mealtime.

The boys recently watched Harry Potter and a couple of times I've found Logan in a closet (because we don't have an under the staircase area). One evening, he rearranged the toys in our cabinet to make himself his own "closet" stocked with blankets and pillows.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Making Memories

As the boys have gotten a bit older we've developed few holiday traditions. We are excited to introduce some of them to the girls this holiday season. Besides the basics like putting up the tree and visiting Santa, we make our yummy clementines, watch holiday movies and read holiday books, volunteer time sorting donated toys for local charities and have each kid to pick out a new ornament for the tree.

This year the boys did a great job picking ornaments with meaning for them.

Logan's jet plane (because we attended our first air show this year)

Jack's soccer ball (because this was the boys first year on a soccer team)

The girls' ornaments have a bit less meaning. However, they are soft non-breakable ornaments which definitely speaks to a need for indestructible things for little hands. ;)
Bri's pink birdie

Des' purple birdie

The girls are still loving the tree. Every time we turn on the lights they sign 'tree' and pet it's branches. They also are enjoying rearranging all the ornaments on the lower branches (hence the need for more soft ornaments).

Some of our traditions have fallen by the wayside this year, like gingerbread houses, matching Christmas Eve pjs, driving around to look at lights and our countdown-to-Christmas calendar. Next year (with slightly older kids), I hoping to revive those traditions and even add a few new charitable ones.

Now I've got to figure out traditions for New Year's Eve. Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Sweet Holiday Tradition

It seems that not only is this recipe a holiday tradition for my family, but publishing it on my blog is also a tradition. This is the third year I'm posting it but it is truly that good that it should be repeated annually. Only three ingredients and so simple and so delicious!

This year the boys were old enough to really fact they almost made this all by themselves. And that is pretty sweet!

semi-sweet chocolate chips
sweetened shredded coconut
  • Peel and section clementines
  • In a glass bowl (shallow is better so you can get your hand in), melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals (to ensure it doesn't burn) and stir
  • Dip each clementine section in the melted chocolate and then in the coconut
  • Put the pieces on wax paper int he fridge to set

Hope your family enjoys these as much as mine does...enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear American Girl,

Please quit sending me your catalogs. Sure, I could order an American Girl doll that looks just like me (fair/medium-skinned, blue-eyed, long straight brown hair) but I'm a bit old to be playing with dolls. Yes, I have two daughters and they do enjoy dolls. But they sure don't look like any of your dolls. My girls have the most beautiful supple dark-chocolate complexion. Their deep dark brown eyes show warmth and a bit of mischievousness. They have eyelashes that are the envy of every women they meet. They have full perfect cupid's-bow kissable lips. And their hair...soft and tightly curled is black as night with little curls popping out every-which-way.

It's unfortunate that you do not make a doll as strikingly beautiful as my daughters. You might have many more customers if you did. Until that day, please stop sending me your catalogs.

Mom to 4 gorgeous kids

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The tree

We live in a large city so Christmas tree shopping usually takes place at H0me Dep0t's parking lot or abandoned corner lots that were pumpkin "patches" last month. Scott had a great idea to find a "cut your own tree" farm. At first I thought he was crazy...did such places even exist anymore? and do we really need to traipse to heck knows where to get a tree? We had a great time though and I got some cute photos.

The next day Scott and I hung the lights without the girls noticing. Since this was presumably their first Christmas tree, we wanted to surprise them. We gathered the kids around the tree and threw the switch. The girls were appropriately awed.

I'm glad we decided to cut our own tree this year and I think we've just started a new holiday tradition.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I've been missing from blogland again...but I still want to document our life so I'm going to cheat and do a mostly photo recap post. (I mentioned I was cheating, right? Well, I'm cheating so much that this November post is going to have the last couple days of October included.)

For Halloween, Jack and Logan wanted to be clone troopers (Commanders Cody and Rex, I believe). And because I left Scott in charge of costumes this year (a mistake I'm not likely to repeat), Des and Bri were Ewokes.

The only way to tell the Ewokes apart is their color-coded earclip flowers.
This is purple so it must be Des.

Not sure Bri likes her costume...

Somebody mentioned candy...let's get going!

Jack and Logan played a very short season of soccer. Jack knew two classmates on a team that had lost several players throughout the season. So both Jack and Logan signed on and though it was halfway through the season and their first ever attempt at a team sport, they both did awesome.

A day at the beach...

Random collection of shots...

A trip to visit Nana and Granddad for Thanksgiving...