Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dirty Laundry

Laundry day used to be the day of the week I dreaded most. But after a little creative tweaking, it's now a fun day at our house. It all started with me trying to get out of carrying all the loads of dirty clothes downstairs. So we came up with a solution: let's make it fun!

We have a top story with a balcony that overlooks the entryway below. Every week the kids look forward to the start of Laundry Day, because it begins with me dumping everyone's hamper full of dirty clothes right on top of their heads!

The kids sit under the balcony and excitedly get showered with all our clothes. After giggling and burring each other, we have fun jumping in the pile, having clothes fights, and dressing up.

After a bit of fun, the kids help me sort the clothes by running each item of clothing into it's corresponding laundry basket: darks, whites, lights, delicates, etc. They like naming the color of each item of clothing and taking a guess as to which basket it goes in.

Wait for it.... wait for it...

Laundry Drop!!!

A little help from the kiddos makes mom's job sooo much easier, and they sure don't seem to mind :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Santa Rosa Plateau

The forecast said 3 days of rain, so my friend Tara and I wanted to get the kids out to do something before we were stuck inside all weekend. Our solution: a nice hike at the Santa Rosa Plateau! It sure was beautiful!

The kiddos had a great time climbing the giant boulders all along the trail.

Stryder took his time, so every once-in-a-while Abby would come running back, grab his hand, and escort him to the group.

The kids found a nice stream to throw rocks into.

Tara kept the kids motivated by having them search for the numbered trail markers.

They found holes...

...and giant sticks!

The two little guys were sure cute trying to keep up with the big kids.

We stopped to climb every set of giant rocks.

And then we stopped for a snack.

Abby found a cool log.

And climbed a big tree.

The last part of the trail had been recently burned, and looked pretty cool.

We had such a fun time! Later that night while Abby was in the bath, Tom washed behind her ear and she screamed! He looked, and found a giant tick that had embedded itself behind her ear. Ouch! Poor thing! The pediatrician instructed us not to take it out ourselves, but to go to the urgent care. I will post pics and the full story soon. Ick!!

Sea World Preschool Trip

Abby's preschool teacher, Ms. Christy, does all sorts of fun stuff with her class. This month they went on a field trip to Sea World! Jennifer Nilsson's son Blake is in Christy's 3 yr old class, so we car pooled. The kids had a great time!

Waiting at the gate.

The first show we went to as a class was the Sea Lion show. Abby ran off to sit with her class, so I just have a pic of Stryder being entertained.

Barking at the audience.

Then, the class split up and we were on our own for the rest of the day. We caught the shark exhibit and the 3D Elmo show.

And the Dolphin and Whale show. The sun was brutal in those bleachers.

Thanks, Jennifer, for taking the kids on the rides!

We took pictures with Elmo and Zoe, then the kids played in the kid's area.

Abby was a little monkey and climbed all the obstacle courses at super speeds, while Stryder bounced and wrestled with the blocks.

It was such a fun day, that we might get passes this year now that the kids are old enough to enjoy them. It was especially fun having friends with us all day!

Shaving Cream Fun

The other day when Abby was at Preschool, Stryder was bored. REALLY bored. The kind of bored that won't let you get anything done. I remembered a fun activity my mom told me about involving shaving creme. She said kids love it, and it's only soap, so when they're done throw them in the bath and you have a clean kid and a clean table!

So we gave it a shot...

It started off pretty mellow...

And quickly got very messy. We drew pictures, wrote our names...

And got the shaving creme pretty much everywhere.

But Stryder had a great time, and that's all that matters, right? I'm looking forward to doing this in the summer time, and letting the kids just hop in the kiddie pool afterwards. And mom was right... my table and kid sure were clean when we were done!

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Our church meets at 9 AM sharp, every Sunday. For some reason, we just can't ever make it on time. I do really enjoy Sunday afternoons when we meet for church that early.

A few Sundays ago, everyone was just exhausted. I put Stryder down for a nap and he wanted to read a book. I came back up a few minutes later to check on him, and this is what I found...

I don't think he got very far!

Then I came back downstairs, and found Tom and Abby asleep on the couches. I was trying to think of a time when they had both fallen asleep on the couch like this, and the last time I can remember was when Abby was a newborn and fell asleep on Daddy's chest. Everyone slept for about an hour and a half, which was a nice chance for mom to get some quiet time! Hallelujah! I wish every Sunday could be this easy!

Christmas 2011

I love Christmas. Even the hustle-bustle doesn't deter me from enjoying this time of year to it's fullest. I really think the "Nesting" urges that have come with this pregnancy helped this year though. I started Christmas shopping in October, and had just about everything done by the time the big day rolled around.

A week or two before Christmas, Santa and his helpers tour our neighborhood, stopping at every star painted on our street. Last year we were just confused by all the sirens that announce his arrival, and we locked our doors tight, thinking the police must be looking for some fuguitive. This year, finally understanding, we rushed out to the nearest star. The kids had a great time telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

Abby: "A Rapunzel dress, Rapunzel shoes, and Rapunzel hair." Stryder: " A bell from your sleigh."

"Bye Santa!"

Christmas eve was fun too. Stryder was super sick with a cold, so Abby and Daddy went to Long Beach for the annual Jones Family Christmas Party. The kids got to open one present each before they left: Abby got Rapunzel jammies and a Rapunzel plush, and Stryder got Buz Light Year Jammies and a Buz Light Year plush. They were both thrilled and couldn't wait to wear their new jammies that night for bed.

After Santa came to our house, we snapped a few photos. Here are the highlights:

Puppet show and puppets from mom and dad.

Train table for Stryder from Santa

Barbie doll house for Abby from Santa.

With the new baby coming soon, the theme this year for presents was self-directed play. Granny-K gave Abby her Rapunzel hair, shoes, and dress, and Grandma gave the kids a giant play kitchen to replace their $20 garage sale find from a few years ago.

Christmas Day

Lots of fun! Grandpa gave Stryder his Buz Light Year accessories, and with the jammies, he is just so stinkin' cute!

Abby wore her Rapunzel dress, hair, and shoes for the next two weeks straight. (She hasn't put her dress on yet in this pic.)

Presents were followed by brunch and dinner at our house. We were fortunate to be able to host both sides of the family this year. It was my first time hosting any big event, and despite being sick and wearing a painter's mask so I wouldn't infect everyone, everything went off without a hitch! We definitely enjoyed staying in our own house instead of hauling the kids and presents to two or three different places Christmas Day.

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of joy!