Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tape and toe nails...

We've been doing our best to get back into some sort of routine now that we're home from Mexico.  It's been a little hard since Court turned around and left for NY the day after we got back.  We've managed to keep busy with preschool, family night at preschool, the grocery store, a visit from Nana and Bapa, trips to the park, and random play time at home.

I made the mistake of telling Jack and Avery on Wednesday morning that it was a Nana and Bapa day so they went into high gear and ran around the house and every time the dogs barked or they heard a noise, they ran to the front door to see if Nana and Bapa were here yet.  So in an effort to distract them I got out paper and markers.  I taped the paper down with painter's tape and the tape ended up being more fun than the drawing.



I get such a kick out of some of the conversations I have with Avery.  They usually start out based in reality and then they quickly turn into fantasy and it's so fun to watch her make up the story in her head and then tell it to me.  Tonight at bathtime, Jackie's toe nails ended up poking Avery in the leg.  It was bothering her so she was telling me about it.  Oftentimes, when she tells a story it starts out with, "when I was a baby..." so that's what she says about Jackie's pokey toe nails.  At one point I ask her if he ever said he was sorry for poking her with his toe nails and she said, "He EVER didn't!" which I'm pretty sure meant that he never did.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We didn't see the elf :(

Avery and Jack spent the day with Nana and Bapa.  At the end of each evening they always take a ride in their car down to the mailboxes and back to the driveway.  I met them at the truck to bring them back in the house.  As we were walking in the front door, Avery looked back at me sadly and said, "But we didn't see the elf!"  I repeated it to be sure that I heard her correctly and she said, "No, the Eeeelf!"  I asked if she meant Buddy the Elf that was here at Christmastime (our Elf on the Shelf that watched over them and reported back to Santa).  She said, "Nooo, not Buddy the Elf, the elf with the pokey horns!"  Finally it dawned on me. 

Last night after they were asleep Katie started barking like crazy and I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't stop.  She was giving me the creeps making me wonder if there was someone in our yard sneaking around.  I finally went to the front door and looked out the side windows and was face-to-face with a big elk.  It was maybe 5 feet from the front door.  I am always so shocked at their size each time I see them, they are bigger than cows, at least they are taller than them.  Anyway, I was relieved to find that it was just an elk and not someone trying to find a way in our house.

I told Mom and Dad about it during lunch time with Jack and Avery listening in.  I'm assuming that when Mom and Dad took the kids for the drive that Nana talked about looking for the elk.  Anyway, Avery came inside so sad that she didn't see the "elf"!  So cute!

And Jack's funny word for the day happened this evening as well.  After baths we were downstairs and Jack looked at the window to the backyard and said, "Mommy, what is that?"  It was a moth and I told him, "It's a moth!"  He said, "Woweeee, that's a really cool mop!"  Dad corrected him and he repeated it and said, "It's a moffff!"  I personally like "mop" best! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Puerto Vallarta 2011

We made our annual trip to Mexico and had a fabulous time.  Each year it gets easier with Jack and Avery.  They did a lot of walking and for the longer adventures, they sat in their strollers.  We spent a lot of time in the pool, played in the sand at the beach, took a ride on the city bus, talked with the locals, and ate a lot of food...

What was so wonderful to witness was their willingness to use the spanish they have learned.  They would pass people on the street and Jack would say, "Hola!" and he overhead us saying, "No gracias" alot on the beach (to the vendors) so he started saying that alot, too.  They learned to say, "gracias", "adios", "buenos dias", "buenas noches", "de nada", "hola", and most of the colors and their numbers up to 10.  What made me giggle to myself was when I took them to the store on Sunday when we got home.  We were wandering up and down the aisles and Jack said to someone who passed us, "Hola!"  I didn't correct him, I thought it was too cute.  As we were leaving the store he looked back at the cashier and said, "gracias!" 

A video of Jack and Avery awaiting take-off. Avery is so chatty and she has an amazing vocabulary.  Sometimes I forget that I'm talking to a 2 1/2 year-old.  She's becoming such a big girl, with big ideas and big opinions.




 Moments after take-off...

 Avery sprinkling sand on her legs while Jack plays in the sand with Nana in the background

Crocs make good sand toys...who knew?

Auntie Crystal flew down from Houston to spend a few days with us, too.  Here is Jack sunning himself with her on her towel.

Aves insisted on having her top off for a while....

And here is video of Jack being buried in the sand.  It's all fun until someone gets sand in their mouth...


And some dancing on the beach:


Santa and Rudolph in sand:



Playing in the pool with Nana and Bapa

Auntie Crystal!!

Avery Frumple Face

My happy little girl!

One of their favorite places on earth....a swimming pool

This frog planter is outside the elevator at our condo.  They had to greet him each time we passed by

With their two aunties, Steffie and Crystal.

More pool play time.

Jack could hardly contain himself in the pool.  He would jump from the ledge and go completely under, coming up gasping then climb right back up and jump again.

A quiet evening playing Memory with Nana.  We play with the cards facing up right now, we'll work up to flipping them over...

We celebrated Mar's birthday on the 19th even though we couldn't all be together. Jack and Avery were so excited to blow out the candles and to sing Happy Birthday!


Avery getting braids in her hair from a vendor on the beach


Pretty girl!

Jack wanted them, too, but didn't like them much once they were in his hair.  By bedtime he had insisted that I take them out.

Family photo at the Botanical Gardens

And at lunch at the Botanical Gardens, Jack discovered my camera holder and thought it was Bapa's so he tried to give it back to him. When he realized it was mine, he wanted everything in it. What struck me most about this video is how blue his eyes look. I think I recall Stef commenting on it while we were sitting at the table too.




Jack is in a phase of saying, "I love you" to everyone.  It is usually directed at Avery as, "Lis, I LOVE you!!"  Here it is followed by a big hug.

The bus ride home.  If it hadn't been so rough a ride, they'd have both fallen asleep like that.



We arrived home to cold temperatures and rain.  I guess it wouldn't be January in Seattle if it weren't cold and rainy.  We went outside and played anyway and we got out one of their cool Christmas gifts.  It took me almost an hour to blow the damned thing up but it's provided hours of enjoyment and has been well worth it.  Thank you, Crystal, for the super-sized gerbil ball for the kids!

Jack is still up to his crazy antics and Avery is my almost 3 year old going on 25 year old.  She was so excited when I asked her to help me pack up some of their old clothes.  She said, "oh yes, I would love to help you, Mama!"  Jack appeared and promptly dumped one of the boxes over and stood on it while yelling, "To infinity and beyooooond!".  Later he had even more fun with the boxes as you can see from the picture below...


And a little video of me asking him what he's doing on top of the boxes..The first thing he says is, "Mommy, I love you!"


And finally, to pass the time indoors during the rain we got out one of their Christmas gifts from Auntie Crystal. I think it's called a hoppy ball or something like that, but when I look at it I think of a gerbil ball so that's what it's now referred to. Avery is fiercely independent and you can hear her reprimanding Jack for trying to help her inside. She wants to do it all by HERSELF!!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

December 2010 - This and That

December was a busy month for us and it still seems that things are going at mach speed.  So I'll sum up the happenings with a few pictures from the last several weeks...

These photos may actually be in a prior post, but I don't remember for sure...We visited Swanson's nursery with Cindi, Ian and Miles to say hello to a couple of Santa's reindeer.

 They also had a big train set up that Jack and Avery watched for quite a while
 Then it was back to Cindi's house to make shrinky dinks.  Avery had a blast.  Jack spent most of the time climbing in and out of Ian and Miles' beds and jumping off things...
 Then one of my kids decided to get naked so everybody got naked.
 We also discovered that our siding was going bad...not a surprise, but really bad timing.  So the week before Christmas they were out replacing all the siding on our house...
 Next was Robby's 4th birthday party.  Birthday parties are a big draw for Avery.  She loves presents and singing happy birthday and she especially loves cake and ice cream.
 We cleaned out the living room in anticipation of the new tv and the kids found their infant car seats.  They insisted on sitting in them!
 Our new 3D glasses.  We have yet to watch a movie in 3D.  Court can't even tolerate wearing them without getting a migraine so it may just be for the kids!

 Making lefse with Nana.  Jack tried to help, but he had more fun brushing the flour off the counter and onto the floor than actually helping.
 Reading a book with Bapa after lefse
 Christmas morning!!  Jack loved his drum from Santa.
 Avery on her new bike.
 A few days later we went to see the lights at Bellevue Botanical Garden.  They were amazing!
 Jack liked the puddles and mud best of all.
 The new tv stand mostly assembled...
 The tv
 Two little blond heads watching Shrek on blu-ray...
 We got more snow.  This is the next day.  Nana and Bapa came out the day before and made a snowman with J&A.  It fell over in the night, so we went out in the morning and tried to put it back together.  Avery and I would put it back together, then when we were distracted, Jack would knock it over again...

Jack eating snow off the snowman's body
 And on New Year's day, we headed to the airport to visit with Court's Aunt Gin and Cousin Darcy while they had a layover on their way to Alaska.  Gin is 91 and still sharp as a tack.  It was good to visit with them.

 When we got home from the airport, Court's nephew, Kegan and his friend were waiting for us at the house.  We got to visit with them for a couple days while they stayed with us and did some shopping downtown.  Jack loved hanging out with his Cousin Kegan.  Avery warmed up to him quickly.
 The next day was Hansen's birthday party.  So we headed to Covington for the festivities...
And Julian coordinated a cool 40th birthday gift for Maren from all of us, an iPad.  I think she was surprised and very pleased with the gift.

It's now January and we're trying to get back into a preschool routine and a normal schedule.  I love all the fun and excitement of the holidays and I'm always sad to see it go, but I'm also glad to get back into a routine and back to our normal schedule.  Now if the rain and freezing temperatures would stop already.  I can't wait for some warm weather!!