Thursday, October 31, 2013

happy halloween

trick-or-treat. what a fun night we had! we took the kids out trick-or-treating here around our own neighborhood. we have never done that before. it was so fun. miles even got to join in the fun. we usually go to orange county to trick-or-treat and miles works so he misses out. this year we didn't want to stay out too late so we decided to try going around our own neighborhood. it was so sweet to have our little family all together for the holiday.

we were going to walk the whole way but we ended up getting the car and parking it at the bottom of the hill. this came about after walking down the hill and having dahlia already complain about her shoes. we knew we did not want to carry all the kids up the hill once we were done and exhausted so miles went and got the car. this proved to be a marvelous idea because we were all super tired once we made it back there.

dahlia dressed up as jasmine from aladdin, connor was spiderman, and mason was commander cody. they loved walking around the neighborhood and it was fun to run into people we knew from school. our neighborhood has lots of hills with houses full of stairs to the front door so there was quite a lot of walking in between each house. that was fine with me. the kids got plenty of treats. it also meant that the kids got tired really quick. they were happy to go home after only an hour of trick-or-treating. they wanted to sort and sample the sweets. poor connor was actually falling asleep on the way to the car. i love that we are starting to make our own traditions together. it is so nice for the whole family to enjoy these moments.

happy halloween. there is still time for miles and i to watch a scary movie.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

connor is four

how can this be? my baby boy is now four years old. time has just flown by. i cannot tell you enough about how much i adore my sweet little angel. he is definitely a mommy's boy and i don't mind a bit. he is crazy cute and so bursting with personality. he loves to dress up in costumes: spiderman, indiana jones, a king... everyday he is a new character. he is also crazy about ninjago. kai is his favorite. he really wanted a ninjago birthday party but i convinced him to share the castle party with mason.

he grew up so much this last year. he is now completely potty trained, he gave up his bottle, and he gets himself dressed. he is a big boy now. he still sleeps in our bed with us, and will only let mommy get him out of bed. that is fine. one step at a time. he loves preschool. i was so worried when he started but he loves it. he tells me, "i don't like preschool, i love it!" so funny.

he plays with dahlia and mason and is equally entertained by both. he loves to play minecraft and x-box games with mason almost as much as he loves playing mermaid and baby dolls with dahlia. his favorite color is red. he is still on the small side. 15-25% in height and weight, but i don't worry. he will catch up.

happy fourth birthday to my beautiful baby boy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ready for halloween

we had lots of halloween activites today. everyone is getting excited for the big day. connor decorated pumpkins at his preschool. they covered them with different colors of glitter. he loved his little pumpkin. they had a huge display with all the different pumpkins and then he got to take his home.

later at dance class dahlia's teacher told them they could dress up in a costume if they wanted to. she dressed up as snow white. connor didn't want to miss out on the fun so he dressed up as indiana jones. there are a couple of little boys that wait outside the class with us and their mom. connor always plays with them. it has become a mini play date. they were dressed up too.

only two more days until halloween. yay. we can't wait.

Monday, October 28, 2013

castle party

yesterday we had mason and connor's birthday party. oh man parties are so much work. i do love them though. this party was huge. mason has a lot more friends now and we just keep adding to the guest list. it was a great party.

miles went over the top with my idea of turning the tree house into the castle tower. instead of painting cardboard he made these huge wooden panels that connected to the sides of the treehouse. it looked amazing. he also made shields out of foam core for the kids to decorate with stickers and jewels. the girls could choose to make a shield or a crown or both. this was a huge hit with the kids. they loved decorating their shields. we gave them all foam swords to go with them.

we had a bounce house that looked like a castle. they all loved jumping in this. we didn't play any organized games because i just can not handle trying to get 16 kids to follow directions. i just let them play so the grown-ups could talk.

for food i ordered corner bakery sandwiches. they were delicious. we did this for dahlia's party last year and everyone loved them. i loved them because they were easy. we also had pasta salad, green salad, fruit, cheese and veggies on the side. i made cupcakes for dessert and my sister made her famous sugar cookies. this time they were in the shape of dragons, crowns, wine goblets, and the letters c and m. i kept the party favors simple with chessmen cookies in bags with a custom label.

it was so nice to see all our friends. it seems lately that our kid's parties are the only time we all get together. i loved having a chance to catch up with everyone. happy birthday connor and mason!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

trick or treat with mickey

we had an amazing day yesterday. i picked the kids up early from school and we went to disneyland for mickey's trick or treat party. miles left work early so he could go with us. we met jen, ray, bodhi, and kira there.

they let us into the park at 3:00 for the special event. the kids changed into their costumes once it got dark and the trick or treating started. at 6:00 pm the park closes for everyone else and the lines to get on the rides are super short. the kid's costumes were so cute. mason was indiana jones, dahlia was jasmine, connor was spiderman, bodhi was mario, and kira was princess peach. they all got tons of candy. it was really a bit much. at the trick or treat stations they would just put a handful of candy into your bag.

dahlia lost her first tooth on the pirates of the carribean ride. we were so surprised. i didn't even know it was loose. i put it in my purse for safe keeping.

mason said it was the best day ever. we left at 9:30 because it was a school night and that already was too late. i really wanted to stay later. it made me realize just how much i miss going to disneyland. we need to save up for passes again.

the only drag was that when we were driving home i got a call from jen saying their car had died on the freeway and she needed me to rescue them. luckily we were almost home so i dropped off the kids and miles and went to pick them up. they were stranded on the center divider between two freeways. it was pretty scary. they had the car towed. i didn't get home until super late.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

camp nicky

this was a party weekend. we went to another great birthday party yesterday. it was for our friend's son nicky. he is now five. they had the party at their house and did a camping theme. everything was amazing as usual. the party was outside and they had these cute little A-frame tents for the kids to play in. connor and kira loved the little tents and thought it was a perfect place to have a snack.

there was a fun scavenger hunt that kids could play anytime they wanted to. you just grabbed a list and went around looking for the various objects. they also had crafts to make owls and pages to color.

there was a huge dessert table filled with adorable sweet things. there was cake, peppermint cupcakes, cake pops, chocolate truffles that looked like acorns, caramel apples, and a smores cake. then later they set up a s'mores station to make the ultimate smore. they had tons of different chocolate like andes, reese's peanut butter cups, and dark chocolate. the marshmallows were homemade. wow. dahlia said they were the best marshmallows she had ever tasted.

if you were in the mood for something savory they had a taco guy there making taco's to your liking and quesadillas for the kids. we were very well fed.

the kids spent most of the time in the bounce house. when it was time to go all the kids got to take home a lantern, homemade binoculars, and some bunny, fox, raccoon, or bear ears. jen and ray spent the night with their kids. it was a fun day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

secret stairs

my girlfriend and i have been getting together on tuesday mornings to exercise. i love it. it is the only hour or so in the week that i get to do something for me. it is very fun.

we started out just walking around the neighborhood around her house. we usually walk around three miles. it is super fun. now we have switched it up and have been doing walking tours from a book called secret stairs. there are all these public staircases around los angeles that have sometimes been forgotten and neglected. the author created little walking tours that highlight the stairs and architecture in different neighborhoods.

today we did a walk in highland park. it was an easy one with only 342 steps. it featured craftsman homes. it was the first walk i have done from the book but my friend margaret has done a few of these before so she led the way reading from the book as our tour guide. it was really fun. i never would have done this walk by myself though. it takes you through some pretty crappy areas. lots of trash on the street and smells i would like to never experience again. but for the most part it was really interesting and the houses were cool. it is a great way to see the city.

our walk lasted for almost two hours and then i had to rush to pick up connor from preschool. i can't wait to do another one.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

mayors park

we went to the sweetest little birthday party today. it was held in a tiny park in la cananda called mayors discovery park. there were only about ten kids and the parents so it was a nice intimate group. they had lots of classic park games and a few new ones that were really fun.

the party started with a large spiderweb made from string. every child was given an end of the rope and a stick to wind it. they had to wind up their string until they reached the end. on the very end there was a prize. all the kids loved this game. it was nice because everyone won. there were also classic games such as walking with an egg on a spoon and the three legged race. they played another fun game where each team of two kids were given wooden blocks to assemble into the tallest structure they could without it falling down. they had two minutes to finish and keep it standing until the whistle blew.

dahlia was the big winner of the day. she is crazy competitive and took home three first place blue ribbons, and a red second place ribbon that she gave to connor. i was actually feeling bad for the other kids because she won every game. the parents thought it was very funny that she was beating out the older boys. poor mason and the birthday boy ended up crying at the end because they didn't win. luckily all was forgotten by time we had some birthday pie. homemade apple pie. yummy.

they did a cute craft where they got to decorate a large first letter of their name and then they all got goody bags filled with color pencils, notebooks, and scented markers. i loved the little party. such a nice treat to have fun without a big production.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

heritage day festival

we woke up crazy early today and went to placentia for the heritage day festival. there is a small parade, then at the end of the parade there is a party in the park with booths that sell food or crafts. they also had a bunch of blow up slides and bounce houses for the kids to play in. there is a car show there as well displaying lots of cool looking cars.

i took dahlia and connor with me. mason said he didn't want to go because "parades are boring." he stayed home with miles and later said he should have gone with us. ha. i knew he would be missing out.

we had lots of fun. connor was so cute. he loved watching the parade. he waved at everyone walking by. when we got to the park i spoiled the kids and bought them a snow cone and popcorn. we walked all around the booths and then looked at the car show. we couldn't stay too long because dahlia had a dance class at 1:30. i was rushing like crazy to get there on time but we were still ten minutes late. there was an accident on the freeway and i was stuck. ugh. oh well. at least we managed to get there.

Friday, October 11, 2013

mind blowing science

mason got this cool science kit for his birthday and after school today we got to do some experiments. the first one we did was to make some slime. this is easily accomplished with some cornstarch, food coloring and water. this was dahlia's favorite activity. she could not stop playing with the slime.

our second experiment was called color changing liquids. this involved mixing citric acid, and baking soda to water colored with red cabbage powder. it was a really fun activity that had the liquids changing from purple to blue or red depending on if you added citric acid or baking soda. it also made the liquid fizzy and more fun. they were super excited about this one.

our last experiment used cross-linked polyacrylamide crystals, red cabbage powder and water to make colorful jiggly crystals. basically you just add colored water to the crystals and wait until they absorb all the water and become soft. this project takes quite a while so it was the last one we did today. we still have a lot more projects to do.

mason exclaimed that science is his favorite and he loves his mind blowing science kit.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

an invitation to the castle

well here it is again. party time. this year we are again going to have a combo party for the boys. yay. we decided on a castle/knight theme. i thought this was a good choice. mason is really into castles lately and connor likes whatever mason likes. i already have some good decorating ideas.

miles made the invitations again. we went back and forth on the typography. most fonts were not very legible. i think they turned out pretty cool.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


dahlia's dance class performed a short recital at the annual oktoberfest celebration in montrose. it was cute. i have never been to an oktoberfest celebration. i guess because i am not really into beer and lederhosen. truthfully we left before the celebration had really begun. she did her dance onstage at noon and the festival was starting then. we left after it was over because it was mason's birthday and i was happy to just go home. miles and her brothers were waiting at home with granny for us.

we had fun. we got there early and decided to get a frozen yogurt because it was crazy hot outside. her dance was short but sweet. she did a ballet routine. she is not at all shy onstage which is a wonderful change from mason who hates to be the center of attention. this is her first year in the advanced class and she is liking it but she thinks it is a little hard. i think it is a little hard too, but she is doing great. much better i think than i could do. i am so proud of her. my little girl all grown up and yes she is wearing red lipstick. she is on stage after all.

mason is eight

mason turned eight today. wow. time is just flying by. it kind of makes me sad. he is so grown up now. eight seems very grown up to me. at least he is my oldest child and not my youngest. i still get to play with connor. mason is very sweet though and still likes to snuggle with me. thank goodness for that.

we started our day with lounging in the big bed and then miles and i surprised mason with his birthday present. a giant castle lego set. he was very excited but not at all surprised because dahlia spilled the beans about his gift two weeks ago. it did not take away from his excitement though. he got to work right away building it. miles helped and they had the whole castle done by lunch time.

miles' mom came to visit for the weekend to celebrate his birthday with us. we had a yummy salmon dinner and then mason blew out eight candles on a pumpkin pie. his favorite. i bought the movie "the croods" and the kids got to stay up late watching it. happy birthday mason. i love you very much.