Wednesday, November 28, 2007

waiting for the train

now you might think that waiting for the train is boring, but not when you have your cousin there:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

we gathered together

we started the festivities off with another pot luck in the Court. i sort of spearheaded this shindig, so i was pleased that everyone had a good time and there was very little complaining that we party too much on our street. the spread was amazing - anytime i get to taste the samplings of these kitchens is a good time! (you may not be able to see this, but the vintage looking dessert stand on the table was purchased by me the day before the party for $5! this was very exciting for me.) we failed to snap many pics of the kids and their fun. but here is a mug shot of the dessert bandit. Anna snuck from plate to plate picking off tiny bites of EVERY dessert on the table. i caught her several times and everytime i went back to the table, i'd see a few more nibbles. good thing we have forgiving neighbors!

then it was off to "Caniforna" to visit grandma and grandpa! Anna could hardly contain her excitement, singing the whole way. (oh, minus the crying, whining, and agitation that goes with a 6 hour car ride.) once there we enjoyed yet another delicious feast, and the good company of our loving family. pictured below are 3 of the "divine nine" an elite group of infant and toddler girls all born during the last 2 years....let me explain. beginning with Anna each child that was born to a cousin on my mom's side was a girl until the spell was broken with my cousin Meghan having her 4th boy in July of this year. it goes like this, Anna (me), Karah (Erin), Brighton (Ashley), Leila (Caitlin), Jameson (Kerianne), Ellison (Meghan), Madeline (me again), Gillian (Michelle), and Laine (Autumn). wow, that is a lot of girls! my mom came up with the affectionate nick-name. here are Madeline, Leila, and Laine on Thanksgiving, with their respective mothers.
Maddie wasn't one for turkey, yams, or potatoes - she prefers cardboard! Anna's whole purpose for coming to "Caniforna" was to go with Henry to the choo-choo and ponies. so, we took the kids to Irvine park for some choo-choo/pony madness. Anna and Grandpa were really excited.
it was time for the pony ride, and Anna decided maybe she wasn't ready. she sat on the pony, but ultimately she did not want to ride. Henry on the other hand was ready to go, he even decided on a "trotter" this time. but then something happened that hasn't happened in a loooooong time. Anna decided that i, her mommy, might be able to do something better than her dad!!! she requested i escort her on the pony ride, and it was smooth sailing after that. (tough loss Jase.) she even said next time she wants a "fast pony" like Henry.

for the choo-choo portion of our day, i was nominated yet again to take Henry, Anna, and Maddie on the ride. Henry was very protective of Anna, keeping his arm around her until the tunnel, when he raised his hands above his head and screamed his head off!

Henry needed to look down at his cheat sheet/shirt for the answer to "how old are you?" and Anna needs to learn how to hold up the fingers she needs to answer.

here's Madeline ready for her train ride.

next it was off to feed the ducks. unfortunately we were less than prepared for this activity. fortunately, i always have Cheerios on hand for the girls, oh and the ducks. i seriously thought i'd be jumping in this less than pristine water after my little girl. happily she kept her balance all day, thank goodness for small miracles.

now, about the ducks. i snapped this shot (which didn't turn out that great) to show what we deemed the ugliest duck and the most beautiful one. we wondered if the other ducks were like, "how did a duck like that snag such a hot mallard?" and what is the deal with ducks that have tumors? it seems like everytime i am near a duck pond, i spy a duck with some sort of growth on his head like this one. curious? and a little gross.

Friday, November 16, 2007

girls just wanna have fun!

this happens everytime we wake up (for the morning, naps, etc.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

stroller for sale

so, we finally made a decision regarding the jogger. so, i guess we'll BOB. after trolling ebay and craigslist for over a week, and putting in some serious garage sale time this weekend, we came to the decision that we may as well buy a $500 stroller that does it all rather than having 2 $200 strollers hanging around the house/garage. so, i listed our Graco DuoGlider which i love on Craigslist. for some reason it actually made me sad. maybe because i put all the same time and effort into buying it 8 months ago and really felt like i found the perfect stroller for me. and it has been, until the kids quit going to the gym with me. so, now i just hope the BOB is really worth it. wish me luck!

Friday, November 9, 2007

on the go

so, many of my family members have asked about Madeline's mobility. she has been army crawling for a couple of months now, here is a video. it won't be long before she's walking though, she already takes steps from one piece of furniture to the next. i guess you try a lot harder to get around when you have a fun sister to catch up with!

Monday, November 5, 2007

to BOB, or not to BOB

so, for those of you who don't know me, i am somewhat compulsive when it comes to comparison shopping. i can't stand to buy something only to discover i could have gotten it cheaper somewhere else. also, i have the tendency to impulse buy. knowing that compels me to shop around and be really certain i need something before i buy it. when that something is bulky and expensive, my shopping compulsion kicks into high gear. this is the situation i currently find myself in: recently i celebrated the fact that Madeline was six months and i could take my kids to the "kids club" at the gym where i work out. this was a joyous day because it meant i could put an end to my 5am workouts. unfortunately, every time we go the kids get sick. otherwise, one or the other cries and i am paged within 5 or 10 minutes of hopping in the pool, on the treadmill, etc. i am desperate not to return to early morning workouts. therefore, i feel a jogging stroller may be the option for me. here's my problem, i can't decide which one to get. 2 of my neighbors swear by BOBs, but i'm having a little sticker shock. still other friends either love or hate their various strollers, but for different reasons. i've test driven both the BOB and the Schwinn pictured below and fail to really see a huge difference. HELP! if you have any advice, i'd love it. (most likely i will be using the stroller primarily as a jogger and will log aprox. 15 miles a week.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

this is halloween

the earls kicked off Halloween with some time at the pumpkin patch.

everyone picked out they're own pumpkin, including Madeline who will most likely follow her father's tradition of devouring pumpkin pie!sometimes Anna can be a little tentative (dare i say afraid) of things like this scarecrow. but not today, nothing could stop her Halloween fun. next came the carving. we spent Family night turning our pumpkins into "jack n' ladders". even Maddie knew this was come serious family fun time.

by the time Wednesday rolled around, it was all i could do to keep Anna out of her costume until the appointed time. we had to call grandma and grandpa and tell them all about our planned festivities. she was very excited that her dad was going to be a "scary guy." (more on that later.)

every year our street gets together to pass out candy. instead of sitting in our houses all alone waiting for kids to come to the door, we sit in chairs around a big fire in the middle of the cul de sac. and every year, there is mass confusion as the children still go up to our doors. so this year Brant taped off all our driveways with caution tape. Michelle spearheaded a chili dinner party before trick or treating. it was a blast! so many people from the community came.

we had quite a spread, with chili, Carries famous salad, and a million different spooky treats.

Anna loves chili, so it wasn't hard to get her to eat. plus i had a table full of bribes. she could not eat a "ghost" until she finished her chili.
then all the kids got sidewalk chalk and made "scary" drawings on the street. here is Anna "coloring a scary but a little bit silly ghost."
and, showing off the earl family "jack n' ladders." notice the chalk on her clothes and mouth?

finally it was costume time! don't even get me started about this butterfly! my cousin Caitlin and i traded costumes for our babies. she sent me this cute caterpillar about 2 months ago. that's when i got the seemingly great idea to make Anna a coordinating butterfly. now, i would have just bought one, but i couldn't find what i wanted. so i tackled this sewing project. but it was a disaster! all i can say is - All's well that ends well. thanks to Tonya for the hair-antenna idea, it saved the day!

it was mommy's turn to sit around the fire and pass out candy, so daddy took Anna trick or treating, she wanted Maddie to come too. here she is holding her hand to walk off into the night.

Anna and the Johnson kids. Ellie was so excited to paint her hair red, and was a beautiful Ariel. and can you blame Anna for having a crush on this dashing young Superman, i mean check out that curl - adorable!

Anna and the birthday boy!

Connor's first Halloween!!!!

Peanut and Anna.

my little butterfly flying away for trick or treating! Anna with Cole the ninja, Peanut aka "Minnie Mouse", and Gray the fireman!
we took a picture of this kid. i gave him the neighborhood #1 best costume award for his Christmas tree! it was so funny because we gave him a standing ovation and i saw his dad beaming, i thought "this must have been dad's idea. then someone asked him how he came up with this costume and he said, "uh my dad." i guessed it!

jeremy roped jason into being the town mummy. this is his "scary guy" mask that Anna had been so excited for. he wore it around the house and she was okay with it, but when he put it on with the mummy, she lost it. she kept crying, "i don't want my dad to be mommy." well neither do i.

once daddy was out of the costume everything was okay. we called it a night.