Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snow days

We finally got snow last night. Even at 35 years old, I still get giddy when every time I see those beautiful white flakes come down. There's something magical about it. Gemma and Timmy were bursting at the seams with excitement before bedtime. If I had to guess, the minute I left the room after tucking them in, they raced to the window of their bedroom to peer outside in wonder, imagining a day of snow men, sledding, and hot chocolate. I hope it's what they did...I know I would have at their age.
Regan's first snow!

Getting ready to sled our way into town. Sunday always means a trip to "Baker Mike's"!

Jim and Timmy spent the remainder of the morning building a pretty epic snow fort. Only when Timmy literally could not feel his hands and feet anymore did he finally decide to come inside.
Some more pictures to recap the month. As always, it was a busy one for our family. Never a dull moment...

New Years Eve! Dinner and sparklers with some of our best friends on Bainbridge, the Anderson family. One of these years we'll have to take the kids into Seattle and let them watch the fireworks display at the Space Needle. I know they'd love it. 
Good looking dude! Regan is a total cross between Timmy and Gemma. No mistaking these 3 kiddos are siblings.
Seriously, Regan is ALWAYS smiling. Such a happy, chill dude. I can't believe he'll be a year old in just 2 months.
Why do one night of sparklers when you can do 2 nights? New Years round #2 with the Stoehr family.
Princess Gemma! She's worn this princess dress and tiara she got from her Nani and Poppy for 2 weeks straight. The blanket, she informed me, was because her head was cold. I suggested she could wear a hat and she looked at me like I was from outer space.
Yeah, I live in Seattle. Yeah, I know the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. But I will ALWAYS be a Niner fan.
One of the kids many creations with my and Lindsay's old wood blocks. Timmy reminds me daily that he wants to be an aeronautical engineer when he's older. Gemma was to be a "princess castle engineer"...said with a very serious face!
Legos with Timmy's buddy, Henry. Totally his Daddy's son...he's building 600+ piece Lego sets all by himself now. Yes, I know I'm bragging. Super proud Mom.

A loooooong overdue visit from my very special friend Julie. 5 kids in our house for 4 days...loud, chaotic, a little tiring, but so very fun. We had a great time showing them so many of our favorite spots on Bainbridge.
That glazed eye look that only comes from watching their favorite movie with Corvin and Scarlett...which these days is Despicable Me.
Julie, thank you for capturing such a cool picture of Regan and I on our walk into town:)

Gemma and Luke, 2 kids who absolutely cannot wait until this playground is theirs at preschool next year.
Pajama and pancakes day for Timmy and Samuel at preschool, so Bethany and I decided Gemma and Luke should get a waffle day at home too! Gemma even convinced Luke to play in her new princess tent:)
Yes, I know this picture is upside down! It's easier to see what a silly snaggle-tooth Regan is these days. 5 teeth...2 on the bottom and 3 on the top, with a nice gap in between them. You can't help but laugh when he smiles.
Game day at swimming! I know I've said it before but, if you live on Bainbridge, Marilyn Belieu is the BEST swim instructor there is. Timmy adores her and Gemma can't wait till it's her turn for lessons in the fall.
Kindergarten orientation night! How the hell did that happen so fast???!!! We have classroom visits this week, complete with a bus ride around the island. Crazy thinking I'll have a kindergartener and preschooler this fall.
All for now. Time to watch some more Olympics! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas!

I'm still amazed at how fast December flew by! And this was one of our best Christmases yet.
The Nutcracker! One of my favorite parts of Christmas. I took Timmy to see a taped performance of the Bolshoi Ballet last winter (I wasn't sure whether he would have the attention span for an entire live performance) and the dude loved it! So a trip to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet was definitely a must do this year. Gemma loves dancing (she cannot wait to take lessons when she turns 4) so we had no doubt she would love the ballet. And ooooooh, she did! We had fantastic seats...7th row, center (THANK YOU MOM!!!!) 
My mom and I took the kids to the matinee performance and followed up with dinner at the Space Needle. We got a window table, watched as fake snow swirled around the observation deck, saw "Space Santa", and got the kids the Lunar Orbit sundae (a couple scoops of ice cream in a dish with dry ice) that the kids at the table behind us were jealously eyeing. An absolutely PERFECT day!
 Coolest kiddo sundae ever!
Nope, no trip on the Great Wheel this time, but, Gemma wants to ride it for her birthday in March...

If you know me well, you know how close my mom and I are. And, just one of the many reasons she is the best is that she volunteers to drive from Bainbridge to California with me and the kids. Suffice to say our drive to Grass Valley was not ideal. We left our house (as planned...) at just after 8:00 in the morning. Quick coffee stop for yours truly and our drive began.  All went well...for about 5 minutes. We were met with a traffic standstill about a mile south of the bridge off the island. A quick phone call to Jim at work (who informed us of a major collision on the bridge, and the subsequent shutdown to all cars on and off the island) left us with the easy decision of taking the ferry into Seattle. Of course we missed the 8:45 by ONE MINUTE (you can see how well our trek was going thus far...) and had to catch the 9:40. Almost 2 hours behind schedule and we hadn't even left the island yet! But still in decent spirits, we made it to Tacoma before we encountered our next road block: signs alerting us to an accident near Olympia. With no alternate route available, and no idea at that point of how bad traffic would be, we kept going. Bad idea. Turned out ALL lane of I-5 southbound were closed. We made it to within 2 miles of the actual crash site, Regan all out screaming at this point, before giving up, driving on the dirt shoulder (where we were flipped off by more than one friendly motorist) to exit the highway, park in a dirt lot, and walk a couple blocks to get lunch at McDonald's (which of course Gemma refused to eat). It only took us a little over 2.5 hours (yes, hours) to drive 2 blocks to get back on the highway and finally pass the accident. One of the worst I have ever seen in my life. 3 trucks, burned to a carcass, melted asphalt...yuck. It took us over 8 hours to reach Portland, and another 5 to reach Medford, our stop for the night. Thankfully our remaining miles on day #2 were entirely uneventful.

A rocky start to our Christmas in Grass Valley, that turned out to be one of my favorite Christmases yet!
Yep, all 3 kiddos take a bath together now. Regan wants to do anything his big brother and big sister do.
Cousins:) Regan (8 months) and Levi (4 months).
Baking cookies with Grandma Nikki. Gemma wore her new sparkle twirly skirt from Nanni and Poppy almost everyday of our 2 week visit.
 Yeah, crawling all over the place now. If Regan is anything like Gemma, he'll be walking in no time.
Seriously, this kid has some of the best facial expressions. A (mostly) smiley, happy, engaging dude who, if he actually had the words, would probably be saying "where's the party?"
 Christmas Eve!

The kids could not believe that their Grandma is a personal friend of Santa!!! No big shocker, Timmy was more on the serious side, Gemma was her usual chatterbox, and Regan cried when we put him on Santa's lap.
WTF!!! Seriously angry that I somehow messed this picture up because Timmy was actually smiling! Yeah, Regan did NOT enjoy Santa at all...
 "Uncle Sean, give me my sparkle hat back!!!"
Dorking around with Auntie Lindsay
Timmy scored a TON of Legos for Christmas!
...and Gemma scored a closet full (okay, not quite that much) of sparkly dress up clothes. Twirly skirts, fairy wings, wands, you name it.

A princess castle from Auntie Erin & Uncle Sean!
Christmas morning. Poor Levi, I'm not sure he knows what to think of his 3 crazy cousins.
The gift on the top of Timmy's list to Santa...the one he wanted more than anything. A bow and arrow. He was THRILLED!!!!!
Pretty sure Levi won the contest for coolest stocking stuffer: the "mustachifier". Totally awesome!

Our drive back home could not have been better. Still a freaking loooong day (we left Grass Valley at back home at 9:15 that night) and I've long since gotten off my high horse about letting the kids watch movies in the car. Yeah, I think they watched 5. Judge me all you want...I'll do just about anything to keep the peace with three kids in the car for over 14 hours.

All settled back home now. Timmy's back in school and Regan has about 4-6 teeth about to break through any moment. Ski lessons start up soon, Kindergarten orientation night is next month, then Gemma's birthday, T-ball in the spring, and Regan turns ONE (wow that was fast!). Always so much to look forward to:)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

...and the days are flying by...

Christmas is a mere two weeks away and I'm finally getting some Halloween and Mexico pictures up. Keeping it real, this blog has really taken a back seat since Regan was born. Now that my little guy is sleeping better at night, I'm not quite the walking zombie I was a month ago, but, let's just say I still feel like I'm barely treading water. I have friends I haven't called in months, projects I've been meaning to start for over a year now, and our house is in desperate need of an overall deep clean. But the kids are happy and healthy...I have a lot to be thankful for!
Lindsay, Tim, and my new nephew Levi came to spend Halloween with us. As always, downtown Bainbridge did a fantastic trick or treating afternoon for the kiddos. Gemma was an adorable Rainbow Brite (another fantastic masterpiece sewn by Grandma Nikki!), Regan and I rocked our clown costumes, and Jim & Timmy won the contest for the most badass box robot costumes ever. Our home office may have looked like a bomb went off in it for the month that they worked on them, but the end result was totally worth it! The battery operated LED lights were beyond awesome.
Nuevo Vallarta! Two weeks of beach (yeah, the water was a warm 84 degrees), pools, and SUN. I am so thankful for these fantastic trips Jim's family does. The only thing missing was some magic potion to get a certain 7 month old to sleep. Regan averaged a 4/night wake up to nurse. I left Mexico with a fantastic tan, much to Jim's dismay as I wore SPF 50 the entire time. Poor guy, his freckles just get bigger when he's out in the sun.  Timmy loved the ocean waves, the water slide, lazy river, and goofing off with his cousin, Matty. Gemma (who is shockingly cautious in the water) enjoyed the private dipping pool off our deck, and splashing around in the kiddie water park. Regan seriously could not get enough of the water. He was game for just about anything, and thankfully didn't protest about the frequent sunscreen baths I gave him. What a happy little dude he is!
 The view from our room. Yeah, it was pretty awesome...
We got back from our trip and all of a sudden it's Thanksgiving. I cooked my first turkey ever and (if I do say so myself) it was delicious! After being gone for two weeks, a nice quiet holiday at home was exactly what our family needed. Jim's mom came up from Portland, bringing Jim his favorite sweet potato pie...YUM. Early Friday morning we woke up and headed out to Seabeck for one of my favorite annual family traditions. The Christmas tree hunt! Not quite the all day event I remember as a kid at our cabin, tromping around the forest, but still fun. Timmy and Gemma even helped cut down the tree this year! I'll have to upload a picture at some point. This year's tree is my best yet!
The kids are obviously still too young to help out with the lights but they love getting to help mommy hang the ornaments.  We talk about which ones are our favorites and I share some of the stories or memories I have behind certain ornaments. I love that they get the same thrill I still do about decorating our house for Christmas.
Yay for Zoo Lights! Our 3rd year going with the Whitlock's and Drugge's. A bit chillier this year (I think the temps dropped into the high teens...brrrrr) not that the kids seemed to notice. Jim and I just dressed them up in their ski clothes and they stayed nice and toasty. Thankfully no screaming from Gemma when her turn riding the carousel was over!
Gemma loves to ride on her Daddy's shoulders!

Time to baby proof the house again...Regan is MOBILE! And oh is he proud of himself. So far his favorite destinations are the fish tank, shoes, and the Christmas tree. Those lights and ornaments are like a beacon for the dude. He's not a crawling speed demon or anything yet but if he's anything like his sister, he'll ditch the crawling after just a month. Before I know it, I'll be hearing "Timmy/Gemma, wait for meeeeee".
And, lastly, talk about a major breakthrough moment for Timmy with his swim lessons! One of those moments where all the skills he had been practicing, finally clicked. I'm thrilled for him! Whether or not he chooses to join a swim or water polo team, he has a genuine love of the water. Gemma cannot wait until it's her turn to take lessons next fall with "Ms, Marilyn"!
I love the weeks leading up to Christmas. Zoo Lights, gingerbread house decorating, dance parties with the kiddos to the Christmas music playing (yes, 24/7) on Pandora, and Timmy and Gemma's first Nutcracker in Seattle. They are SO excited! All we need now is some snow!
Merry Christmas:)

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