Sunday, March 27, 2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

While you were sleeping...

The girls are always ready to be up for the day before we are. Most days we get out of bed (or at least one of us does) and get breakfast and start the day. On weekends, it's harder. Sometimes we just lie in bed and let the girls do whatever in our bedroom and we're not really sure what that is because both of us have eyes closed.

One such morning, my phone was on the floor next to the bed. I found this photo series later in the day. Apparently Pippa got my phone and took a bunch of photos of Roxy taking a pen to a book. Yikes!

 

Leap Day - Because Real Life is for March!

It was Leap Day! So, of course we celebrated. What do you mean you don't celebrate Leap Day?!  It's our family's thing! Well, we decided to make it a tradition based on the Leap Day episode of "30 Rock." Here's an explanation of Leap Day:




Here's a (fake) Leap Day movie that plays throughout the episode:


We take the "Real life is for March" sentiment seriously, so on Leap Day we've decided that T will take the day off from work, the girls won't go to school and we will just do fun stuff all day!

For our Leap Day adventures I tried to dress the girls in the traditional Leap Day colors of yellow and blue but they weren't having it. I wanted to take the girls to Happy Hollow (a little kid amusement park) but they are closed on Mondays. So are all the other places that have kiddie rides. We did have success in teaching Pippa to fake cry for candy!

We started by going out to Black Bear Diner for breakfast (we literally never eat breakfast out and very rarely other meals). Then we went to the Oakland Zoo. And it was absolutely not crowded because it was a weekday. For your viewing pleasure:





 Pippa really enjoyed the lily pads.






If you go, skip the train ride. Super lame.

On the ride home all of us (well, not T as he was driving) fell asleep.

Then we cried for candy and watched a movie. A good first Leap Day for the girls.

Valentine's Day

It's kind of our thing to send out Valentine's cards instead of Christmas cards. Here is this year's edition:


Front:
 Back:
Well, it was a cropped version of this photo with the following text:

T loves commuting on BART (not), dessert, and sleeping in.
S loves sleeping, Pinterest, reading, and eating food prepared by anyone else.
Pippa loves climbing, building with Legos, singing, and telling us what to do.
Roxy loves sucking on her binky / fingers / Mom's fingers, dancing, and following Pippa.
And of course we all love you!

We messed up on the ordering and only had enough for siblings, aunts / uncles, grandparents, and like five friends. Sorry if you didn't get one this year!

We also made Valentine's sugar cookies. It's a family tradition starting with my grandmother who made them while her kids were growing up then when the kids went to college she mailed the V-day cookies to them. My mom and some of her sisters have done the same. And now I (we) do it, too. It's the only time I'll make sugar cookies, I'm not a huge fan.

Roxy carefully placing M&Ms on her cookie.

Pippa was a lot more generous with her M&M's, but still just as careful in placement.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chinese New Year Parade

Chinese New Year was February 8th. Friday morning I saw something about the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco. According to some unnamed source (Parades International? Official parade score standings by an unbiased committee?) the SF Chinese New Year Parade is one of the top 10 parades in the world. (I do wonder where Mardi Gras krew parades and the Rose Bowl Parade rank in the standings.) I mentioned to T that it sounded cool, but it was an evening parade. We tried to get a babysitter, but couldn't so we just decided to take the girls and view it as an experiment. If things deteriorated quickly we would just turn around and deal with the screaming.

But things went really well. The parade didn't start until 5:15. The girls were both happy (well, Pippa slept) on the hour car ride into the city. We found parking decently close. We found a good place to stand with only one row of people in front of us. Our parade spot was conveniently right in front of one of T's work offices so we had the option to go in his office and watch from the 4th floor (plus access to non-public bathrooms).

The view from the 4th floor before the parade started. You can see me in the red hoodie right under the tree.


We decided not to bring the stroller and just the baby carrier. Roxy was entertained by tangling her self up in it while we waited for the parade to start.

The SF Chinese New Year parade really is better than most parades because in addition to marching bands, floats, and dancers there are dragons (Pippa said they were chasing lollipops because they were hungry), martial arts guys, and fireworks.

There were huge dragons like this one and smaller ones with just two people in them. The smaller ones would come right over to the people in the crowd. The girls loved the dragons.

Most of the time Pippa was on T's shoulders and Roxy was on my shoulders. Both girls really loved waving to everyone in the parade and of course they got a ton of waves back. Pippa waved at everyone the whole way back to the car when we left. Once T took Pippa off his shoulders, but her legs had fallen asleep and she couldn't stand! So he held her like a tiny baby for a while. Sometimes when there was a little break I would put Roxy on the ground. She would demand "up!" so I would pick her up then she would tap the top of my head and demand "up!" again.

 After a while it was getting more crowded and we were tired of holding the girls up so we went up into T's office building and watched more of the parade from the 4th floor.

We didn't stay until the end (someone said it would go until 9:00?!) so we missed the HUGE dragon and the HUGE fireworks, but the girls had already seen fireworks and dragons and it was already past bedtime and we still hadn't had dinner yet, so we left early. At least we missed traffic :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Family Photos with T's family

Our first full day in Utah we met ALL of T's immediate family for family photos. Here they be:








Can you even believe it?! Every single person is looking at the camera! This one was done with an self-timer!







Utah trip

Prepare yourselves - this is long. And we didn't even take that many pictures.

A few days after Christmas we flew to Utah to see our families. (Of course we flew - do you remember how terrible the car ride to Lake Tahoe was?!) We went because T's brother got a new job out of state starting after the new year and we weren't sure when his family would all be together again.

We got in at night and accidentally rented a car from an agency not at the airport. We were just going to take the shuttle to the rental place (all four of us) but then we saw it would be 15 degrees when we arrived and we didn't have winter gear for the girls (it was loaned to us from relatives and stashed at my parent's house). We didn't want to make the girls wait in the cold so my dad met us at the airport. I waited inside with the girls while T installed the carseats in my dad's car. My dad took us home in a toasty warm car and T waited for the shuttle to get the rental car.

We stayed with my parents which is nice because free food! free beds! free babysitting! tons of toys! Plus next to T, Pippa, and Roxy, they are my favorite people in the world.

The whole time we were in Utah it never got above 30 degrees. Most of the time is was the teens / twenties. Living in the Bay Area, there's not really a need for winter gear. The girls don't own anything warmer than hoodies. Sometimes we'll layer a hoodie and a jacket but that's about as cold as it gets. Roxy had a hat, gloves, and boots that we used for Pippa in Germany and T and I had winter coats from DC but Pippa didn't have any cold weather gear. I bought her a hat and legit gloves in CA before we left. We also brought Roxy and Pippa's waterproof overalls (every kid has these in Germany - I can't believe they haven't caught on here!) with the idea that we would do several layers under them. My mom bought snow boots for Pippa before we arrived. My brother let us borrow a snowsuit for Roxy and my other brother let us borrow their double stroller and a coat for Pippa . SOO glad for these loaned items - the girls would have been completely frozen without them! Here is the snow gear in use!




Tuesday, our first day in Utah we met up with T's family for family photos (a whole different post that you can check out here). Then we all ate dinner at a buffet then headed downtown to see the lights at Temple Square. Of course we had a difficult time meeting up with everyone and by the time we all got together our little family had been there for over and hour and it was past bedtime and the girls were just done. Sometimes that is how it goes. Roxy screamed the whole way to the car. This is the girls at the very beginning enjoying the water fountain at City Creek where we parked. Pippa also loved going up and down the escalator at City Creek. Neither of us managed to take any photos of actual Temple Square.




Wednesday morning I met up with my good friend M.E. for breakfast. T took the girls to his aunt's house to hang out with Grandpa Stig, Grandma Ceidie, and T's brother & family. Both of these babies are thumb suckers.

We hung out at my parent's house for a while. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but the last time we visited (for my parent's 40th anniversary) I literally only sat on their couch for a total of 10 minutes. There was just so much running around to see people and get stuff done. So just doing nothing several times this trip was great. Roxy really loved the rocking horse. Like REALLY loved it. 

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Our whole little family met up with two of my favorite high school friends and their family for dinner. The kids played together fine and the husbands get along and of course the three girls have a fabulous time. I love that now they are our friends (not just my friends). 

These girls (well, I guess we're women now). Just so many emotions. Love them.


On our way home from H's house that night it was cold. Like 18 degrees cold. And this happened. 

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After we put Roxy and Pippa to bed T and I went to see the new Star Wars!!! It was fabulous and we loved and gasped at and freaked out about all the little nods to the originals.


New Year's Eve morning (aka Thursday aka our third day in Utah) we went to T's friend's house for breakfast. T and R (husband and wife) were his friends first back in high school, but they are the best kind of good people (you know what I'm talking about) and now they are our friends. I'm glad to have been adopted into the friendship :) Breakfast was over the top delicious. And we forgot to take any photos of us together or the girls (they have four) all playing together.


That afternoon we drove to Heber for a sleigh ride. Heber is a lot bigger than I thought it was! Waiting for our turn...

Pippa LOVED the sleigh ride. Our driver Cody (the horse was Albert) was so nice and talked to Pippa and us about all kinds of things. When the sleigh took off Pippa started giggling and thought it was the best ever. She had such a huge grin on her face the whole time. Well, the first 20 minutes she did. The last 10 minutes we were all just about frozen and wanted to go inside. It was only 13 degrees! Thank goodness we had blankets (borrowed from my parents) to help keep us warm!



Halfway through Roxy was fussy and wanted me so we switched kids. Poor Roxy's cheeks were so cold and chapped!


Here you can really see how red Roxy's cheeks were.

After the sleigh ride Roxy insisted on a turn with the rocking horse.

T's parents were supposed to go on the sleigh ride with us but they couldn't make it. But they drove up to Heber to meet us after and took us out to dinner. We made the girls eat chicken nuggets before they could have some ice cream. Roxy thought she was getting away with something every time T's dad gave her a bite of ice cream. She had the funniest face of satisfaction / happiness / getting away with something.



After the girls were put in bed we were going to ring in the New Year with T's uncle's family in Riverton. But by the time we were supposed to head over there I was already falling asleep. (It was only 9:00! I was sound asleep in bed by 10.) T went alone and had a great time. I really missed seeing them.

New Year's Day Pippa helped my mom make cinnamon rolls.
(A side note: Both girls' curls are more defined in CA. Their hair looked so flat in Utah!)

Pippa and my mom had a fun time playing together this whole trip. Especially playing barbies. I don't like playing pretend with Pippa (I didn't like playing pretend as a child, why would I as an adult?), but I didn't need to because my mom and Pippa played together. It was so sweet to see them do that together. They also played the piano, little people, and games together. (Another side note: Pippa would play the piano and sing a song at the same time. Adorable! She even managed to stay on pitch even though her piano playing was all over the place.)

My sister took a little vacation with her husband to celebrate their anniversary so her five boys also stayed with my parents for a few days / nights. I was concerned about the sleeping arrangements / if the girls would be able to sleep at all but it all worked out. The boys slept in two rooms in the basement and we all stayed upstairs and the boys were so good to be quiet when it was naptime / bedtime for my girls. And of course Pippa and Roxy loved having cousins around to play with! Pippa especially liked my sister's oldest boy. So cute to see them together - her adoring him, him being gentle with her. Things like this make me wish we lived closer to our families.

ANYWAY, my parents have a terraced backyard and my brother started a little sledding hill (we did this growing up, too). T and I added on to it. Mostly T.

Here it is at the beginning:

At first the kids weren't getting too far. 



But we packed it down, added a ridge and soon it was a pretty good ride.


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The kids were so great about taking turns. Pippa went down alone and I would take Roxy on my lap. Roxy didn't love or hate it so we only went a few times with her.

T and J (my sister's oldest) worked the hardest.

J held the sled steady for all the younger kids to climb on (literally every time) then would give them a nice shove down the hill.


T, Pippa, J, and R were out there for over two hours and the other kids came and went. It was only 25 degrees so I didn't expect them to want to stay out that long, but they were having a great time!

C and Pippa made snow angels.

Thank goodness for those waterproof overalls!

Usually Pippa makes sand angels (at the park) so it was nice to make a snow angel with significantly less mess.


Later that afternoon we met up with our USC freshman family friend J, her husband, and their three little boys. We met at Thanksgiving Point Museum of Curiosity which I had never been to before. It was crazy packed. At one point we lost Pippa in the climbing maze for 10 minutes. I was starting to get to the freak out point when T found her. She was still climbing and having a great time. Other than that, fun times.


Roxy practicing her wheelbarrow skills in the pretend farm.

Pippa piloting a plane.

After we got home, my mom and dad took all the other kids downstairs for a movie while we put Roxy to bed. I came downstairs to matching blankets. I pointed it out to my parents and it was the first time they noticed.


It was cold in the basement! Pippa chose her spot because of the close proximity to J.

She really adores him. He let her hold his hand and she rubbed it on her face. No idea what that was about but she did it several times.

Saturday morning we went to my brother D's house for a big get together with my family. So much good food there! And of course so great to see everyone. Pippa especially loved hanging out with her girl cousins.



Pippa fell asleep on the ride home and only woke for a second when we put her on the bed. Playing with cousins wears a girl out!

When she woke it was outside for two hours of sledding!





 Roxy was ambivalent about the snow. Mostly I think she didn't like the part where it was harder to move.

J and Pippa lied down next to the sled run to check out cloud formations. I was nervous they were going to get run over but not so nervous that I made them move.



That night I got together with some of my favorite people that I have known since junior high. These girls. So many emotions. Love them!


Sunday we went to church with my parents. Kinda strange to be back in the ward I grew up in but with my own kids. The couple who taught me when I was a sunbeam were the nursery leaders when I took Pippa to nursery that day. So surreal.

Hanging out in Sunday clothes. Well, not grandpa...

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That night we had Sunday dinner with T's family. Sunday dinner is definitely their thing. It was supposed to be in Logan, but they graciously changed it to Herriman and thank goodness. Roxy screamed the whole way there, so we were glad it was only a 30 minute trip not a 1.5 hour trip. After dinner people started playing "Just Dance" on the wii. You follow dance moves on the screen and it's really quite fun. Pippa loved it and it was fun to watch.


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Monday we met with our financial advisor in the morning. (We're absolutely not rich, we're just planning for retirement because that's what responsible adults do. If you're planning on social security getting you through your later years you are delusional.) I came home and napped with Roxy while T and Pippa met T's mom at Winger's (his favorite) for sticky fingers and asphalt pie.


Then it was off to the airport. But first we got lost trying to drop the rental car off. But we still made our flight with lots of time to spare.

It was a great visit and it was nice to not rush around so much this time around. And it was glorious to return home and get everyone sleeping well again. Sleep is my favorite thing ever.