Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy...

{HALLOWEEN}

Halloween is my favorite holiday! Not because I like candy (which I do, but it's not a staple in my diet). I love the season, the scariness, the costumes, the history, autumn, caramel apples, apple cider, powdered donuts, haunted houses (the idea of them, not actually going to them), witches, ghosts -- I love it all!

This year Max was a dinosaur. He was ADORABLE!


And Mattie was supposed to be a ladybug but refused to wear the costume so she was a witch again. Still SOO CUTE!

My mom and I were going to take the kids trick-or-treating around her neighborhood but decided it would be more traumatic than fun for them, plus, we didn't want them to have candy. So, they were having a little Halloween party here at Mesa at the park and we took them there. It was pretty fun, Max and Mattie had fun people watching. There were tons of little kids dressed up in their cute costumes and yummy healthy food. It was the perfect thing to do on Halloween for little kids who don't know about trick-or-treating yet.

Then Tyler and I had cider and powdered donuts after Max went to bed. It was a nice Halloween.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Mattie Update

I thought I'd give a little Mattie Rose update. She's getting SO big!! She's about as tall as a lot of 3 year olds so when people see her I think they expect her to do and know more, but she's not even 2 yet. She's adorable and oh so SASSY. I swear, she is all three of us women rolled in to one.

When we were in Connecticut there was an incident where Mattie kicked Max because he wanted to get up on the same chair as her and she wasn't having any of that. Bob turned to her and told her no, don't kick. She looked at him and in her most serious yelling voice said "THESE MY BOOTS. THESE MY BOOTS!!!" referring to the boots she was wearing. In her little girl opinion, those were her boots and she had a right to kick anyone she wanted with them. She then stuck her tongue out and laughed. It's cute now, but when she's ten, will we still think it's that cute?

Another thing she does is that she will point at pictures and say "I did that!" when in actuality it is like the Mona Lisa or some picture hanging in a restaurant. She also points to her own paintings and says she did those, too. But it's cute that she likes to think she's so creative. She also loves to say "wow!!" when she sees things that make her really excited

She can say some colors and numbers now, too. It's hard to understand sometimes, but she knows them and can count, too.

You can totally have a conversation with her now, too. She babbles all the time and tells stories, it's adorable. This video is super cute. We're in Dairy Queen and she's eating ice cream and it's really cold.

video

She's wonderful and growing and learning so quickly. She runs like Steve Martin and laughs when people get hurt. She eats ice cream like it's going out of style and loves to go "uppie down" at the park (which means walking up and down the stairs over and over again). She loves the swings and shoes and she has LOTS of shoes. She calls me Ne-na and says "mon Ne-na" meaning "come on Nina." She really is more like my daughter than my sister. I love her TONS!!! (I don't want her to leave!)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

FIRESTORM 2007

I'm sure most of you by now have heard of the Southern California wildfires, or as the local news stations so aptly named it "FIRESTORM 2007". Let me tell you that it was actually kind of scary. On Sunday afternoon before Alice and Julie left we noticed huge plumes of smoke coming over the hills towards the west. I figured it was just some distant wildfire and nothing to worry about. Little did we know that by Sunday night and Monday morning it was raining ash and smoke and only got worse as the week went on. The smoke was so bad that we had to keep all the doors and window shut despite the 80-90 degree temperatures outside. It was a good thing the smoke blotted out the sun for the most part.


Anyway, we were very close to the evacuation zones but never actually got the reverse 911 call to leave. But it was kind of surreal when I was running around the house preparing and packing in case we did have to leave. I'm a planner and I like to be prepared. And it wasn't to paranoid of me either because they evacuated Scripps Ranch which and Miramar which is pretty dang close. Anyway, I walked through the house looking at all our stuff and realized that in fact, it was just all stuff. It was ALL replaceable. I grabbed the few pictures we had hanging on the walls that couldn't be replaced, our wedding album, computers, some clothes and that was it. It made me realize that this stuff around me doesn't define me or us or the things that are most important like family, marriage and my beautiful baby. It was quite freeing.

My parents were in a voluntary evacuation zone. The fires in Rancho Santa Fe were only a few miles from their house, but because they are located beyond lots of businesses they weren't in real danger, although they could see embers and stuff in the air.

It's hard to live down here and not know someone personally who was affected by these fires. Whole neighborhoods went up in ashes in a matter of minutes -- and those ashes blew all over our deck and car and everything else that was outside, but let's focus on the important things, right?

The air quality was so bad that Tyler decided to take Max up to his parents' house in Sonora for the rest of the week so his little lungs could be healthy and not full of ash and soot for the rest of his life. I think he had a great time with his cousins and grandparents.

We survived FIRESTORM 2007 (if you say it in a big booming TV voice it's way more intimidating). We're so grateful to all those firefighters and their families. I always seem to relate more the the wives and moms of those firefighters because that's who I am.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baby to Big Boy

Maddox is getting SO big!! Not physically size wise, because he's as big as a normal 10 month old (and I'm not even kidding). But his intellect is getting incredibly big. He understands EVERYTHING!! It's crazy. We're at the point where we have to spell out words now. Milk, outside, bye bye, toys, blanket, pacifier, bath, car, breakfast, lunch, dinner -- the list goes on and on.

He also answers yes and no questions with purpose. He means what he says, too. He'll answer questions like:
Do you want to go outside? (head shake yes)
Do you want to go home? (emphatic head shake no -- especially if we are at my mom's or at the park)
Do you ____________ (fill in the blank and you'll get a yes or no, I promise).

He's just getting smarter and smarter every day and consistently amazes Tyler and me. He also knows how to point out his body parts when we ask him in both English AND Spanish. I'm not sure how he learned the Spanish ones so fast, but he does it!

Oh and he sings songs now too. Not with the actual words, but in his own little language. He sings Itsy Bitsy Spider, the Clean Up song and when we ask him how Cinderella sings he goes "waaa". It's super cute. I'll have to get some video of these things, soon. He's so hard to take video now because he wants to grab the camera or run away.

WE LOVE OUR LITTLE MAN!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Aunts

Okay, so they aren't exactly related to Max by blood -- but they are nestled deep down in his tiny little heart. My super-duper best friends and college roommates (Alice I lived with for years, Julie I never lived with but practically did by default) came down for a little visit! It was SOOOO good to have some real adult time with people I love. Even if it was just taking Alice's brother Kevin to Costco and Target (to buy a Wii).

We went to the heart-breaking CAL vs. UCLA game. Stupid UCLA -- they are such biters!!


We had brunch at a little place called Brockton Villa on the coast in downtown La Jolla. I felt like I had a life again! (Not that I don't love being a mom -- please, no haters).

Max fell in love with both Julie and Alice. When I asked him if he loved Julie he nodded his head yes and when I asked him if he wanted to marry her he shook his head even more emphatically.

I had a great time with you girls and I can't wait to see you in about a week!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Strawberry Hollow: Reminiscing From Days Long Gone

When I imagine the fall season in my head, I picture a little red barn, a long sweeping hill winding into a large flat pumpkin patch, beautiful fall leaves, a tractor and lots of orange pumpkins. I even imagine the wonderful fall scents -- fresh cut pumpkins, damp fallen leaves, rain on pavement, crisp winds. The perfect embodiment of this season is Strawberry Hollow.


It's a small pumpkin patch on a winding shaded road in Connecticut that we would go to every year to get our pumpkins at Halloween (well, actually, we went to a couple of other orchards to get pumpkins because they were cheaper -- but we still went to Strawberry Hollow to take pictures). I have a lot of fond memories of my favorite time of year there. It is just so quaint and quiet and New Englandy. I LOVE IT!!


It was so fun to be able to take the next generation of kids there, too. We took Max and Mattie there one cloudy afternoon when we were back East. They had a blast running around. Max tried to pick up all the huge pumpkins -- he even made grunting noises like he was trying, it was too funny.

Mattie liked kicking the leaves. She doesn't really like to pose for pictures, but I promise she was happy and smiley while we were there.


Maddox also enjoyed pulling every little pumpkin down from here and watching it fall on the ground. He pretty much dismantled the whole set-up.

video

I really do love this place. It is just so pretty! And it's like I always say, you can take a girl out of New England, but you can't take New England out of a girl. It's sooo true.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Connecticut again!

Thanks to my parents, Max and I got to go back to Connecticut again! It had been almost exactly a year since we had been there last. Max spent his first Halloween there last year, and although it wasn't quite Halloween yet, it was close enough. Although, the leaves hadn't all changed yet, there was only a hint of red, magenta and orange. But it was nice to go back home and visit with the family.


It was a quick trip (my parents were going to look for houses since they are moving back there around the first of the year) so we didn't get to see everybody, but it was still lots of fun.

The first night we were there Mattie found this adorable mini tea set and was pouring pretend drinks for everyone -- or "waa" (like "water" without the "ter" part) as she says.


Max loved being around my cousins Stephanie and Kimberly (who graciously shares a birthday with him) and of course entertaining the rest of the family who came over every night to play. My Aunt Angela helped me out during the day, along with my grandmother, while I had both kids to watch so my parents could go house-hunting.

The kids did great! The plane ride on the way there was as smooth as it could be, no major meltdowns. The ride home was a different story. We were all exhausted from getting very little sleep the night before (we had to get up at 3am to drive to the airport for a 6am flight -- yuck) so dealing with Max, who is the MOST wiggly baby EVER and Mattie who can get rather cranky without a nap, was REALLY REALLY hard. It took a lot for me not to just start crying -- and mostly because I knew if I started I probably wouldn't be able to stop. But the rest of the trip the kids were great, they slept well and ate well and completely enjoyed all the attention.

We also got to see my Dad. He met us at the park and as soon as Maddox saw him, his face just lit up. I couldn't believe he recognized him! It was adorable. Mattie on the other hand did not like my dad. She saw him and just started yelling. It was really funny.


Also, it was the first time Max and Mattie had shared bath time. They pretty much ignored each other, except for the occasional whack or kick from Mattie to Max when he stole a toy or got in the way of her mermaid-ing (where she lays on her tummy in the bath and kicks her legs).

We had a great time and miss everyone already! We can't wait to go back!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

New Look

So here is the new banner made by the wonderfully talented Christine Jenkins. Isn't she great? I may do some more tweaking here and there, but I'm liking the new look a lot. What do you think?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bates Nut Farm


Desperately grasping at any indication of fall and Halloween my mom and I took the kids to Bates Nut Farm in Escondido (or as my good friend says -- Nates Butt Farm). Tyler took the afternoon off, too. We let the kids run around the pumpkin patch and they had a blast. And even though we were surrounded by pancake hills and 80 degree weather it was nice to get out for the afternoon, pick out pumpkins and spend some time with the family.