Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hip Hip Hooray! It's Valentine's Day!

Brian and I don't usually do anything crazy unpredictable for Valentine's Day.  The typical flowers, candy and a card followed up by going out to dinner is usually the routine.  This year I wanted it to be a little different.  As many of you know (I like to pretend there are actual readers), I love planning events, parties, get togethers, Bachelor viewing parties etc.. So I thought it might be fun to have an over the top Valentine's day dinner with a couple other couples.  Granted, I wasn't committing to anything but the idea was there.  A few weeks later I had two couples and two excited gfs to plan it with!

Here is what transpired:

We sent our men on a scavenger hunt and used lots of cheesy poems:

The first Husband got this on his way to work and then this when he got home:
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Hurry home, I have a surprise for you!

Don’t be late to pick up your date, He lives on Del Rey, that should give it away!

Then my husband Brian got a card that read:
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Be ready by 5:30, someone is coming for you!

Once Steven got to our house to pick up Brian I had their next clue:
This will be fun, tonight’s just begun. There is still one more, go knock on his door
Don’t be late, he lives by the lake.

That led them to Brian's friend, Kevin's house where his wife Sarah had a card for all three of them that said:
Suit Up!  You have 10 minutes

We had gathered all of their suits, shirts, ties and shoes and made them get all dolled up for us.  :)

Their next clue was:
Have your cake and eat it too, We ate it at a wedding for one of you

That card sent them to this amazing bakery called Nothing Bundt Cakes where they have the most delicious bundt cakes.  I pre-ordered our Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake and dropped off three flower corsages for them to give to us at the bakery earlier that day along with their next clue.  Side note, we did not buy the corsages, they are ridiculously expensive so instead I went to Trader Joe's and bought 3 bunches of flowers for $3.99 each and made them all myself along with 3 boutonnieres for the guys that we would give them later. Thank you high school Floral Design class I took 11 years ago!

The guys said they walked into the bakery and didn't know what to do so they just stood there waiting until one of the ladies clued in and remembered her part.  She gave them everything and they were on their way with the next clue:
Don’t be late, for our dinner date, Head to the lake, for our Italian plates!  

This card took them to an Italian Restaurant called Peppinos at the Mission Viejo Lake where we again had our order already in and waiting to be picked up along with the last clue.  Unfortunately it didn't matter how much advanced notice we gave the restaurant, the guys still had to wait 20-30 minutes for our dinner.  Anyways, the last clue was:
Race the clock, get to the dock, With flowers and cake head to the gate, Your ladies await!

The best part about our whole plan was this last part.  Kevin's grandma lives in a beautiful house on Mission Viejo Lake and has a party boat which she willingly let us borrow for the night.  We were at the dock with blankets and boutonnieres.  When they got to us we took lots of cheesy ball prom-esque photos, giving each other the flowers, pinning on the boutonnieres etc..  Then we boarded the boat and took it back to the house where we had a beautifully pink and red fancy table set to enjoy our dinner and dessert, and take more awesome photos.

We all had a great time and had so much fun planning everything even though it was in such a short amount of time.  

Here are a few of our pictures, enjoy! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

One down, 3 to go

 This weekend we packed up the kiddos, some fancy schmancy clothes and hit the road.  On Friday afternoon we drove straight up to Oakland. Luckily we only had to make two stops. One for much needed leg stretching and the other a quick bite to eat.  In the beginning the kids did great, towards the end and sporatically throughout they had their moments.  Ellie kept saying, "Out, out, out" or "walk, walk, walk."
We stopped at a little place called Andersen's, known for their split pea soup. Brian remembered going there as a kid and even has a picture of him and his brother with their heads through a wooden sign.  So for nostalgia sake, and our rumbling tummies, we stopped.  I must say, not good. Surprizingly the reviews on Urban spoon were raving with a 92% positive rating... So we were pretty surprized how boring and tasteless it was.  We got the kids picture in the sign and headed on our way. We left at 11:30AM and arrived at our destination around 8:20 PM.

The next morning we met up with my family and attended the sealing of my brother Cameron to his bride, Ciera.  It was a beautiful and intimate wedding. The grounds at the Oakland temple are gorgeous!  I think we saw at least 3-4 QuinceaƱera's and 3-4 wedding parties from other faiths taking pictures on the grounds.  That is not even including the amount of bridal parties there getting married in the temple.
Afterwards we headed to Benicia for a luncheon hosted by Ciera's dad. We had some very good Mexican food and got to know some family and friends.
Next we were onto the reception hosted by Ciera's mom and stepdad at their home.  They had a beautiful backyard all set up for the occasion. We met more friends and family and had a great time. Unfortunately the kids were dead tired and had a one track mind trying to jump in the ungated pool.  We played keep babies out all night long.  They had a ring ceremony as well as some heart felt words by the bride and groom for each other. It was very sweet to hear what they had prepared for one another.  Skylar gave a toast that was very clever, witty and charming. Her sister Amanda also said a few sweet words and the night ended with sparklers and a send off.  We were so happy to be there to celebrate them and their new marriage and can't wait to continue the celebration this weekend with an open house for our close friends and family.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Modern Elegance Bridal Shower

Today I threw a Bridal shower for my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Ciera. (Wow, that's a lot of hyphens!)   That's right, my little brother is getting married!!!  I honestly cannot believe I am old enough to have siblings getting married but seeing as I have been married now for 7 years, it was bound to happen right?

I have so much fun planning parties.  If I could have my dream job, aside from my already dream job of being a stay at home mommy, I would be an event planner.  I cannot even express how much joy it is for me planning and executing parties.  I feel at home, in my element.

Here are a few pictures of the festivities... if you follow me on Facebook you are lucky enough to see them twice! ;o)

Our brunch menu was:
French Toast Roll Up with Cream Cheese and Strawberries
French Toast Roll Up with Nutella and Strawberries
Banana Streusel Muffins
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yogurt Parfaits
Fresh Fruit
Donut Holes- Powdered Cinnamon, Powdered Sugar, Glazed, Chocolate with Sprinkles
Orange Juice 
Lemon and Cucumber Water

It was a great day!  We look forward to officially adding Ciera to our family this August!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This morning I got up with the urge to get out of the house.  It's supposed to be 80 degrees today and I feel it would be a cryin' shame to waste such beautiful weather, especially when half of the country is having April showers.  Honestly, I love nice weather, but I detest the heat.  There is only one time that I really enjoy and soak up the suns rays and that is when I am on the beach with my honey some where tropical.  Let's face it, California beaches are great in theory, but the water is freezing!!

Getting out of the house is a huge production with twins. (I'm sure it is with any number of kids but I only know how it is with twins.)  I have been trying to make an effort to take them to the park so they can play but realized just how easily someone could come up and snatch one without me being able to do anything about it.  (I am aware that I am slightly paranoid.)

We have Disneyland passes and go at least once a week.  It is a great place to walk around and there is surprisingly a lot to do with one year olds.  There are lots of rides that allow little ones (albeit a few kinda dark ones like Mr. Toads Wild Ride and Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs) and places to let them run around and get their energy out like A Bug's Life Land or that big room next to Off The Page (the name escapes me) in Disney's California Adventure.  I have braved going by myself with the twins a couple times and meeting up with a friend and their kid(s), it is a tiring process but the kids love it. Could I do it every week? Yes, but would I want to?  That's a different story.

The other day I was watching The Pioneer Woman's show on the Food Network and longed for all of that wide open space they have out in the country.  Part of me wants to sell our house and move out to open fields and greener pastures.  We have nothing remotely resembling a yard where we are now.  Don't get me wrong, I love living in Orange County but it saddens me that my kids don't have a place they can run around and be free in without being surrounded by busy streets.

So what will we be doing today to get out of the house? Haven't a clue yet.  Maybe just a stroll around our local Target to pick up some (un)necessary items.  Or maybe I will brave the park again, we'll see.

(I realize this a totally random post) :o)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

12 MONTHS!!!

24 LBS 11 ounces (98% percentile) 31 1/2 inches (98% percentile)

He walks!!  Ethan has been walking up a storm! He is still very hesitant to walk all the time, especially because he can move around so much faster if he crawls but it's only a matter of time before he is running around the house.

He is still very independent and is starting to throw tantrums if I pick him up when he is playing or take something away that he shouldn't have.  It is usually in the morning before his bath that he is very sensitive and extra wiggly.

Ethan is very happy and playful.  He loves to jibber jabber and it really sounds like he is speaking in sentences because he fluctuates his "words."  

Ethan is the hardest baby to find shoes for!  His feet are so thick that they don't fit in any!  I had to take him to Target and find ones that are loose and big so he can slide his feet in.  I wouldn't mind it so much if the weather were warmer but it is so cold and he hates wearing socks so I had to find something to put on his feet.

This little man knows how to make his mamma happy.  When he is tired he will come over, hug me and lay his head on my shoulder.  I melt.  He also will tilt his head or lay it on a pillow and wait for me to say, "Awwwwe."  SO CUTE!  I cannot get enough.  

He has the most kissable cheeks in the entire world, they are soft and pillowy!  I just want to hold him and kiss them all day long.  Surprisingly he lets me a lot.

This month we went to his Grandma Celia's wedding and he was all over the place chasing after his 4 year old cousin Aiden.  He wanted so bad to get up and run with him but his little legs couldn't quite keep up.  He had a great time just crawling everywhere.  Ethan loves to dance!  He was dancing all over the place.  His dancing is him rocking his head and body back and forth, I must say it is the cutest thing to watch.  He has a train at home that plays music and whenever he hears it he stops what he is doing and dances.  I love it!!  I just hope he keeps dancing for the rest of his life. 

This month we also went to Disneyland a lot and he met lots of new characters.  He met Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Sully.  For the first time ever he was ecstatic to meet them!  He laughed and smiled like crazy, we were in heaven!  

Ethan is in size 3 diapers and 12-18 month clothes.

21 LBS 10 oz (50% percentile) 31 inches (90% percentile)

Ellie is such a happy little lady.  She just loves to laugh and laugh.  Brian and I love to tickle her and kiss her like crazy.  

She is starting to walk too!  Ellie has taken 5 steps in a row at most and the best part is that the first time she did it was when her daddy gave her pickles!  She liked them so much that she stood up and walked to him for more!  Silly girl!  Her and Ethan LOVED the pickle and cried when daddy had to cut up more for them.  They were so upset that he was out.  

Ellie is talking more and more each day.  She has mastered a couple interesting words like basketball, Baxter, Cracker, Pickle and Tickle tickle.  Yes, I am aware that there are similarities but it is still impressive.   When I get out the goldfish crackers she will say "cracker."  The doctor says her talking is very advanced for this age. 

Ellie loves the Disney princesses but is not a fan of the furry characters.  She screamed and cried when we introduced her to Sully.  

Ellie loves to dance and roll around on the floor.  She sits and spins in circles when she is happy and cracks herself up.  I will be in the kitchen and all of the sudden hear her laughing, when I look in the room she is spinning around giggling like crazy.  ADORABLE!  I especially love when she gets so into dancing that she doesn't stop when the music does.  

She loves wearing shoes and putting them in her mouth.  When we push her around in the stroller I will often see her with one foot in her mouth.  Silly girl.  

Ellie has a blanket that she is attached to.  It is flannel on one side and satin on the other.  When we put her to bed she grabs it and holds it while putting her thumb in her mouth.  So sweet.  Lately she has been making sure to grab it in the mornings when I take her out of bed.  She loves it and I love that she has something comforting to cling to, not to mention something I made for her.  

Ellie loves stuffed animals and dolls.  She will take them and hold them close to her.  She has one doll and it has plenty of wear on it.  When we go to Disneyland Brian will give her a doll or some fluffy stuffed animal and she will hug it and love it, that is until he takes it away from her and puts it back on the shelf, what a tease.  She definitely needs a new doll though, something soft and plush but better than her little worn one she presently has.

Ellie has a security blanket, it's one little tiny one that I made before she was born.  She sleeps with it and lately always picks it up and brings it with her in the morning.  She loves to hold it in one hand and put her thumb in her mouth to sleep.  It's satin on one side and soft flannel on the other.  

Ellie wears size 3 diapers and 12 month clothes.

They love to talk!  They will wake up around 7:00 AM and talk to each other until 7:30 when I finally get out of bed to get them.  They also love to mimic each other, if one coughs the other will cough, silly babies.

Both babies are starting to enjoy our trips to Disneyland a lot more.  One of their favorite rides is the carousel.  They will hold the handles and rock back and forth dancing to the music.  When the ride stops they hold tight to the handles not wanting to be done.  They also love to look around and dance to all the music throughout the park.  

I am starting to wean them onto regular milk and it is quite a challenge.  They both didn't like the taste of regular milk at first but Ethan is starting to come around.  Ellie on the other hand won't even put the bottle in her mouth once she knows it's regular milk in there.  I feel so blessed to be able to nurse them this long.  I honestly can't believe my body has been able to produce so much to feed both babies.  It has been such a joy and I know I am going to miss it.  

The babies love playing pass the basketball with mommy or daddy, they will grab the ball and push it back and forth.   

They sleep from 7PM until 730AM, waking usually only once to eat.  They also take 2 naps a day, although I know that won't last much longer.  Sometimes they spend the whole time just jibber jabbering back and forth with each other.  I love to listen on the baby monitor.  

I can't believe my babies are actually a year old.  It's amazing how fast time flies.  I feel like the first birthday party should partly be a party for the parents and how they survived!   This past year has been incredible, sometimes incredibly difficult but mostly incredibly wonderful.  I love being a mom and can't imagine my life any different.  We are so lucky to have such a hard working man take care of us and make it possible for me to stay home with them.  I love watching the bonds between the babies and Brian grow, they all adore each other and I adore all of them.  Here is to many more memories and milestones.  We did it!  They are still alive and well!  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

11 Months!

No stats for him this month, again no doctor's appointment, but I did weigh him in the last few weeks and he was at 23.5lbs!

This month Ethan loves to stand up and walk!! Well sort of.  He loves holding our fingers and walking around the room. He also loves walking the perimeter of the couches, bed, fireplace and pretty much any piece of furniture or wall we have.  He is so close to walking on his own we can feel it!  He loves standing and moving around from place to place on his own.

So long my cuddly wuddly little man, this guy is all about independence!  He likes to play with his toys and sometimes with Ellie.  He rarely cuddles with me anymore but does still let me squeeze him once in a while.  He doesn't like to be in one place very long unless it's his highchair, he can sit there all day.

He smiles a lot but now it's more of a teasing smile, like he has a secret or he knows he is into something he shouldn't be.  It's pretty funny watching him.  He is still my little love.  I can always get a smile out of him.

Ethan is never full.  We feed him almost anything and he just gobbles it up and grunts for more.  He also likes to feed himself.  When I offer finger foods he prefers to take it from me and put it in his mouth.  I haven't given up the reigns on feeding him his oatmeal or some of his dinners yet.

Ethan got another tooth!  He now has a total of 7 teeth and I can see swollen spots on his gums and know he is working on more.

Ethan understands lots of words like: hungry, momma, daddy, Baxter, Yay!, clap, wave, water, handsome, grandma, etc. He is also pretty good at saying Momma and Dada.

He has become a lot more vocal lately.  He screams for almost any reason and it is starting to really get annoying.  When I change his diaper I feel like I am wrestling a full grown man sometimes.  He is so strong and hates being laid down for a quick change.  He is at that tantrum phase which is not fun.

Ethan is very interested in doors.  He opens them and closes them and opens them and closes them.  Brian had to child proof the cabinets in our bathroom because Ethan loves them.  At Grandma Neilson's house he likes to play with her kitchen cabinets as well.  He always goes right over to the cabinet that holds her stand mixer and baking toys.

He is still in size 3 diapers and 12-18 month clothing.

No stats for Ellie this month but at weigh in a few weeks ago she was 19.5 lbs.

Ellie can do no wrong.  She is just the sweetest most loving little lady.  Brian did a time lapse video of him and the babies in our living room playing, Ethan was in his own world and Ellie came over to him 6 times in a matter of 26 minutes!  I know that when I play with them it's almost the same thing, except when Ethan notices that Ellie has occupied my lap he comes over to me and tries to steal my attention.

Ellie is standing on her own now and still (assisted by furniture) walking everywhere.  She comes over, grabs our fingers and then tries to walk us around the room.  She loves to climb all over Brian and I.  She has created the perfect little soft spot on her daddy's heart and knows how to win him over.  Brian just loves the attention his little "Ellie Bell" gives him.

Ellie is not an independent girl, she loves attention and being held.  I hardly get anything done while she is awake because she weeps most of the time if I am not near her or with her.  I must admit that I love being wanted that much, it just forces me to capitalize on nap time to get everything done.

She doesn't hate headbands right now but if you remind her that she is wearing one, by touching it, she will take it off.  So I try not to remind her too often. :)

Ellie is such a giggly little lady.  She has the most infectious laugh that just makes you want to kiss and tickle her all day.  She is darling when her daddy wakes up and wants to play with her.  They laugh and have a ball together.

One thing I forgot to mention last month was that Ellie has teeth!!!  She now has 6 teeth, four on top and 2 on the bottom.  She is a great little eater but definitely knows when she has had enough.  She likes to feed herself occasionally but really just likes opening her mouth and having us put the food in.  Already a princess complex haha.

Ellie is in size 3 diapers and wears 9-12 month clothes.

The babies didn't really understand Christmas, I think they were a little overwhelmed with all the attention and chaos that the holiday season brought.  We took them to see Santa at Disneyland and California Adventure and we took them out to see Christmas lights.

We didn't get to Disneyland that much this month because our passes were blocked so we stayed home a lot.  Uncle Cameron and Uncle Skylar came home for a few weeks and they took the babies to the park.  Ethan does not like swings, he tenses up and gets all shaky.  Ellie wasn't a fan of the swings either but after playing peek a boo she warmed up to it.  Watching my grown up brothers go down the kiddie slides with the babies was icing on the cake!

Ethan and Ellie take 2 naps a day and sleep really well at night.  They go down at 7 and sleep until 730 the next day waking up only one time to eat around 3-4AM.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

10 Months!

I still need to weigh him, we don't have a doctor's appointment again until February.

Ethan is now standing up completely unsupported by anything but his own leg muscles.  He likes to stand up and reach everything he can from nightstands, counters (the low ones) and chairs.  He also loves to pull down this mesh gate we have and look over it.  One thing he doesn't like is when we try to stand him up and let go or walk with him.  His legs turn to jello and he pulls up his knees.  He loves to stand on his own but not when we help him.

He is still my cuddly little guy but only likes to really cuddle when he is sad or tired.  Most of the time when I pick him up and pull him in he puts his head on my shoulder for a minute or two and it just melts my heart.

Ethan has also taken a huge liking in tilting his head back and forth.  He looks at Brian and I, then tilts to one side and then waits for us to do the same, then he does the opposite side.  He also has this super cheesy smile that he does to be funny.  He throws his head back, squints his eyes and grins with all his teeth, it's hilarious and adorable!  I catch him doing it in the mirror facing  his car seat.

He loves to bounce.  Most every morning when I go get the babies from their cribs he is standing there jumping up and down.  He is so happy!

This month sleeping has been a lot better, he finally stopped waking every two hours but for whatever reason wakes up around 11-12 crying, I have to go in and soothe him until he falls asleep.  No teeth have broken through this month so I think he is having night terrors which in my opinion are much worse.  I would rather have to give him Tylenol or baby orajel, I can't do anything for night terrors.

My favorite new development of Ethans this month his understanding of peek a boo.  He will take his blanket and pull it over his face and wait for me to say, "Where's Ethan???" and then he will drop the blanket and I shout, "There he is!"  He loves it and so do I.

We took family photos the last week in November and Ethan was beaming in all the photos, which is odd because usually he just has a blank mouth open stare and Ellie who is usually all smiles only smiled for a few and the rest she sobbed.  So weird!

Ethan is still in size 3 diapers and wears size 12-18 months, he is the cutest chunk ever!

I still need to weigh her, we don't  have a doctors appointment again until February.

Ellie is crawling and pulling herself up everywhere. We hold her hands sometimes to walk with her and that little girl takes off, she is so quick!  I keep telling people, she won't walk she'll run!  She likes to stand (not without using something to help her up), make sad faces and chirps so we will pick her up.  She has the most adorable pouting face that makes us crack up.  She is learning how to manipulate us into picking her up or playing with her.  She still hates being left alone or set down.  Sometimes when she is pouting she will fake cry and then open her eyes slightly to make sure we are watching and then start fake crying again.

Ellie is just a little happy girl.  She loves to be held, by pretty much anyone but Santa.  We have tried 3 different times to get her to smile on Santa's lap but she refuses and breaks out in screams and sobs.

My little girl is starting to take a stand against headbands of any kind.  Every time I put one on her she pulls it off immediately, I have to distract her right away for her to leave it for any period of time but she is not a fan. She doesn't mind hair clips but they bug me because her hair is so fine that they just slip out.

She has developed a princess wave where she sticks out her right hand and rocks it side to side.  She doesn't do it all the time on queue but does do it, especially if I am holding her walking through Disneyland.

 Ellie loves pillows. One night we pulled some pillows off the couch and put them on the floor with us, she went right over to them and laid her head down.  Now every time she sees a pillow she puts her head down on it and we all say, "AWE."  She loves it, and so do we.

Ellie is still in size 3 diapers and 9-12 month clothes.  I love that she is so petite!

Both babies understand the word clap and hungry.  Most times when you said clap they will drop everything they are doing and break out into a round of applause.  It sometimes even works when they are crying. If you ask them if they are hungry, and it's time for them to eat, they start chirping and crying for food. Too funny.

They are great eaters and will eat any thing you give them, except for the freeze dried yogurt drops, Ethan loves them and Ellie HATES them.  They LOVE pork, I made a pot roast the other day and I couldn't feed them fast enough.  I have been trying to feed them whatever we eat for dinner, except for the super allergenic stuff they can't have until they are at least one like peanuts, chocolate, strawberries, honey etc.

When the babies do play they usually stick together and play with the same toys.  I love watching them play together but most of the time they steal each others toys.  Ellie gets so sad when Ethan takes from her because he is so much stronger resulting in her having to find a new toy.

I am still nursing both babies.  It is a lot of work with both of them getting so big but I know it won't be for much longer so I am trying to enjoy it as long as possible.  I have already felt my appetite lessen which scares me.  I really enjoy the time I get with them when I nurse, I never dreamed I would be able to nurse this long, when the babies were first born I remembered thinking, I don't know how people do it! I think I will aim for 3 months, then 3 months came and I pushed it to 6 months, then 9 months and now (hopefully) 12.

Brian installed some gates in our house to keep the babies in one place and they are not happy about it.  They crawl over to our mesh one (it is retractable because a suspension one wouldn't fit and I didn't want one permanently up) and pull on the top to try and see over.

Both babies will go to practically anyone, they are very even tempered and just happy babies.  I love to watch them learn and grow each day. I feel so blessed to be their mom and can't imagine my life without them.

I am so excited for their first Christmas!!!