Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the advent calendar

everyone here is sick again. mason stayed home from school today. we actually had a fun day though. we made an advent calendar. whew. just in time. jen had the idea of making one so she went to michaels and got the stuff yesterday. they are going to make their own at their house.

we used little white bags and lots of different stickers. i printed the numbers on sticker paper from my computer. i put the numbers on the bags but the kids did all the rest of the decorating. they were really creative with the stickers. mason took the center pieces of the snowflake stickers and used it to make icicles on the roof of a house and as ornaments for the christmas trees. i am always impressed with their different ideas. all the bags are so cute and different from one another.

when they were all done i hung them over a window with a long string and clothespins. now i just need to get a bunch of treats to fill them. i have a couple of things i can use until i can shop this weekend.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

trains and birthdays

we went to my friends house for a double birthday celebration. my friends carla and her sister nicole both have little girls with a birthday one day apart. nicole lives up north so we don't get to see her very often. this year they planned a party at their parents house for both of the girls. it was so fun to have everyone get together.

their dad wayne has this amazing train collection that he has spent years putting together. it is really incredible. there is a whole room in their house devoted to the train. mason was in heaven. all the kids loved watching the train run. it was super cool. i was really impressed with all the details. you can tell wayne really loves his trains.

they also had rented a really large bounce house with a slide that the kids had a blast playing in. they jumped for hours. after we all had lunch the kids got to break open two pinatas. there was candy and little toys everywhere. then it was time for cake. two cakes! we all had a really great time at the party. we stayed pretty late and of course the kids fell fast asleep driving home.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


happy thanksgiving. i had such a relaxing and enjoyable morning today. i woke up and played ella fitzgerald while baking an apple pie. what can be better than that? the kids all wanted to help cook. the whole family hung out in the kitchen. dahlia helped chop the mushrooms for the wild mushroom gravy while mason sauteed the shallots. miles made his delicious cranberry sauce. i really love it when we all cook together.

we did not host this year so i had plenty of time to relax. it was so nice. we later packed up all the food and brought it to my sister christina's house. miles' mom came with us. christina had the tables set so nice and everything looked perfect. it was a really wonderful meal. my mom cooked the turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes. jen and ray brought mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts. susan made spinach dip and crudites for snacking, and christina made a pumpkin cheesecake. even the boys pitched in by bringing a pie. it was fun to have everyone make something. a real group effort. i love having a day devoted to gratitude. thank you to my whole family for making it special.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

dahlia is four

dahlia turned four today. she is getting so big. we had a busy day with school and gym class so we didn't really do anything for her birthday. her teachers sang happy birthday to her at the little gym so that was fun for her. jen, bodhi, and kira came over after class for dinner. we cooked pizza and let the kids stay up late. mason doesn't have school for the next six days. yay.

i love that i have a little girl. i never thought i would get to have a daughter and it is so fun to have another female around here. she is super girly and loves to dress up. she will usually change her outfit including shoes at least two or three times a day. her favorite toy is her baby doll named orange and a little stuffed dog named plum. they often come with us on outings.

she is super sweet and still very independent. she is not in preschool yet and i feel really bad about it. i need to find one and get her enrolled. she loves to do homework with mason. i usually make copies of his worksheets for her to do with him.

she likes to play with connor while mason is in school. her favorite activities include digging in the dirt, dressing up like a princess, and making soups on her play stove with carrots, mushrooms, and celery that she takes out of the refrigerator. she is 32 pounds and 41 inches tall. that puts her in the 25 percentile for weight and 75 percentile for height.

happy birthday baby girl. i love you very much.

Monday, November 21, 2011

hello kitty party

yesterday was dahlia's birthday party. what a fun day. i was really running behind as usual for this party. we had to rethink the party because it poured rain the whole day and the party had to be inside. we had ordered a bounce house but it was raining when the guy showed up so we were able to cancel it without paying a cancellation fee. that was nice.

i was super worried that nobody was going to show up with the weather being so bad but everyone came. it was great that miles made the spin art box. the kids loved doing the spin art. we had paintings drying all over the kitchen. we also had a station set up where the kids could make beaded necklaces and bracelets. everything turned out so nice.

we had a taco bar where you could make chicken or beef tacos with various toppings and salsas. there was also quesadillas for the kids, chips, quacamole, rice, beans, ceasar salad, and a fruit platter. everyone loved the food. i bought a food warmer serving tray so the meat and beans stayed warm. there was strawberry lemonade for the kids and beer and champagne for the adults.

for dessert i made chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing flavored with orange zest and a little white cake with whip cream icing. jen made her fabulous sugar cookies shaped like hello kitty.

for party favors i made these cute bags that looked like hello kitty's face. i also made the keroppi frog face ones for the boys. they were filled with hello kitty and keroppi note pads, pencils, erasers, bubble necklaces and tatoos.

dahlia looked so pretty for her party. she insisted on wearing her white party dress. she looked like an angel. i hope she had a fun day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

spin art

it looks like it is going to rain on dahlia's birthday party so miles decided to make a giant spin art box for the kids to create spin art paintings. he has been wanting to do this for a while now. we bought a spin art set from michaels over a year ago and it can only take paper that is 4" by 4". the kids love it but we are constantly having to cut more paper. this got to be a bit time consuming.

miles wanted to make one that was big enough to hold a 8.5" by 11" size paper. he found a very old fan in the garage that we don't use any more and decided to create his own spin art machine. he bought some inexpensive particle board from home depot and went to work.

the spin art machine is now done and i am very impressed. it doesn't have that beautiful finished look but it works great. he even used a toggle switch to control the speed. i went to michaels today to buy washable paint and squeeze tubes so the kids can easily add the paint to the machine. i think all the kids will love it at the party. i know my kids will. thanks miles!

Friday, November 18, 2011

wrinkles is back

last year mason was so excited to take home his class stuffed animal wrinkles for the week. every student gets to spend a week with wrinkles. this year they have a new wrinkles and this was his week to take him home. yay. so fun. for his special week he got to share something with the class everyday.

monday he brought in a poster with photos of his family. he also brought in five objects to share that tell something about him. he brought his favorite book knuffle bunny, favorite movie star wars, a picture of him in gym class, a photo of his favorite museum the discovery science center, and his favorite snack a red bell pepper.

tuesday he brought in a photo of his favorite stuffed animal rudolph the reindeer.

wednesday he wore his favorite star wars shirt.

thursday he shared his favorite lego toy.

friday he had me, dahlia, and connor visit his class and answer questions from his classmates. he was so excited to see us there.

we had to give wrinkles back today with a journal and photos from our adventures during the week. it was fun. mason wanted to share all of his favorite things with wrinkles. we took wrinkles to the lego store, the discovery science center, and the little gym. we also had lots of picnics in our backyard with wrinkles. the week went by too fast though and mason was sad to have it end.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the playset

it was a beautiful day today. the kids were super cute. jen came over with bodhi and kira. they love to play with their cousins. they all had a great time on the playset while i worked on party stuff for the dahlia's birthday party. her party is on sunday and i am freaking out. there is still so much to do.

Monday, November 14, 2011

discovery science center

after school today i took the kids to orange county to visit the discovery science center. we were going to go on friday but connor was sick so we posponed the trip until today. it was a good thing we did. the people that worked there said it was crazy busy friday and the weekend. it was really empty today. i loved it. jen met me there with bodhi and kira. it was a really fun visit. they got to play with all the exhibits. there was a really fun one about recycling where you have to sort trash into the correct bin. it is like a race to get the most points.

of course they spent most of their time at their favorite exhibits like the dinosaurs outside. it was so nice to not have a bunch of people there. i could let them run around and still keep track of where they were.

after we left the center we met my mom and sister for dinner at the soup plantation. the kids were really good. i actually got to eat my dinner without getting up every two minutes. it was a great day. so nice to get out of the house.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

sit n spin

connor got a new sit n spin for his birthday from auntie christina. the new sit n spins do not spin like the ones i grew up with in the seventies so i returned it and went looking on ebay. there are lots of old sit n spins from the 1970's for sale there. i ended up buying two because one will not be enough for the three of them without fighting.

the sit n spin arrived today and they love it. it spins really fast. they were making me laugh spinning on this thing. this was one of my favorite toys when i was a kid. my sister and i would get on it together and spin until we were super dizzy. it is so fun to watch my kids do the same thing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

dahlia's invitation

we decided to have a hello kitty theme for dahlia's fourth birthday party. she really couldn't decide on one theme. first it was going to be a princess party, then strawberry shortcake, and finally she chose hello kitty.

i like this theme. there are so many cute hello kitty things out there. it will be easy to decorate for this party. miles made these invitations. he always gets to do the invitations because he would rather play on the computer than watch the kids while i do it. i think they turned out super cute.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

day of the dead

we dressed all the kids up in their matching bone jammies. i thought it was very appropriate for day of the dead. mason decided he didn't want to be in the picture but he had his on too. i thought our little skeletons looked so cute lined up on the couch.