Thursday, December 19, 2013

November life in photos

November was the month of EVENTS. Birthday celebrations for our family (Rich and Charlie), more family birthdays (my sis in law), baptism, neighbor kid birthdays, Thanksgiving, volunteer events at work, photo sessions for a little extra cash and on and on and on.

It felt like endless November.

One of Charlie's friends had a birthday party at Golf N' Stuff.






You know? Golf N' Stuff from the original Karate Kid movie. Here, take a trip down memory lane.




Alice Linda turned 2. She's not a baby anymore. Well, she's still my baby but she's doesn't look or behave like a baby. With the exception of the constant companion sippy cup of milk. I won't make her give it up. Ever. Maybe she'll take it on her first date to Golf N' Stuff in 14 years.






Our dear friends' son, Cole, was baptized at Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles. Beautiful baby boy, beautiful ceremony, beautiful cathedral.









My Charlie is growing into such a big boy. He's catching up with his Dad.



And he is oh-so-serious. 



Other tidbits from the month -

Kick ass sunsets as I drive home (the only benefit of daylight savings).



I darkened the red in my hair a bit. I like it. I didn't like it the first week. I like it now.



Alice went to the ER late at night for croup. Scared the hell out of me, turned out to be no big deal.



I started listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving was over. I couldn't help myself. It was a long month. Charlie also loves Christmas music and was pressuring me to do it. So he's to blame as well.



December is rockin' around the Christmas tree. And Target. And school holiday programs. And work. And the flu. And more birthdays and birthday parties. I'll update next month.

Happy holidays from the 4 Phees.

xo

Digital Playdate: November

digital playdate header

Sharing my friends' kids in one spot, once a month. View all past playdate posts here.

Month #11.

My high school friend, Kim's daughter. Maddie, 2 years old. 




My childhood friend Lynn's daughters Ella, 9 years old and Abby, 6 years old.






My post-college / pre-California friend, Crystal's sons. Jack, 5 years old and Ryan, 3 years old. 




My sister-in-law Misty's daughter, Kayle, 13 years old. 





 



My college friend, Lesley's son Harper, 6 years old and daughter Isla, 4 years old.  





 

My sister-in-law Robin's sons. Aidan, 5 years old. Will, 2 years old. 









My high school friend, Jen's (Kitchka) son Owen, 7 years old and daughter Lily, 5 years old. 




 



My high school friend, Jen's (Lundgren) son Jameson, 3 years old and her daughter Autumn, 15 months old. 

 





My son Charlie, 4.5 years old and daughter, Alice 2 years old.




Wednesday, December 4, 2013

conversation starters

I'm a big fan of those games like Scruples that ignite interesting conversations. Or any sort of ice breaker "get to know you" exercise.

With the holidays in full swing, these might be fun to print out or pull up on your phone and ask away with your friends and family. I plan on doing so.

These are some of my favorites.

Cheers!


Conversation Starter

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Digital Playdate: October

digital playdate header

Sharing my friends' kids in one spot, once a month. View all past playdate posts here.

Month #10.

My high school friend, Kim's daughter. Maddie, 2 years old. 


Kim, October 2013


My childhood friend Lynn's daughters Ella, 9 years old and Abby, 6 years old.

Lynn, October 2013n

Lynn, October 2013



My post-college / pre-California friend, Crystal's sons. Jack, 5 years old and Ryan, 3 years old. 


Crystal, October 2013


Crystal, October 2013

Crystal, October 2013

Crystal, October 2013



My sister-in-law Misty's daughter, Kayle, 13 years old. 



Misty, October 2013

Misty, October 2013
 



My college friend, Lesley's son Harper, 6 years old and daughter Isla, 4 years old.  


Lesley, October 2013


 

My sister-in-law Robin's sons. Aidan, 5 years old. Will, 2 years old. 


Robin, October 2013

Robin, October 2013

Robin, October 2013



My high school friend, Jen's (Kitchka) son Owen, 7 years old and daughter Lily, 5 years old. 


Jen K October 2013


 



My high school friend, Jen's (Lundgren) son Jameson, 3 years old and her daughter Autumn, 1 year old. 


Jen L October 2013


Jen L October 2013


My son Charlie, 4.5 years old and daughter, Alice 23 months old.


kids with pumpkins_Oct2013 (40)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

October life in photos

October felt long. Not a bad month, necessarily, just long.

I've been photo bombing Rich and Alice's selfies. (Adorable flower clip made by Aunt Robin.) 
October life

We decorated the front window with googley eyes. 
decorations_October 2013_10142013 (2)


We have these straw hats. And we wear them. All at once. (You should feel sorry for our neighbors.)  
October life

October life



October life

October life


Rich has been taking Charlie on all sorts of adventures. Long Beach Aquarium, busting out of school early to see movies, pumpkin patches. I hope Charlie remembers these days, weeks and months with his dad. 
October life

October life

October life


Alice has a thing for hats. (She has a thing for stuffed animals, too, but mostly hats.) 
October life

October life

October life


Alice is also my mischievous one. If she's quiet for more than 30 seconds, I can count on catching her doing something she shouldn't be. Like playing with her lamp. 
October life

Charlie is my serious one. Even his Batman face painting is serious business. 
October life

Giulietta's 5th birthday party at Build-a-Bear. He and G are exactly 8 weeks apart in age. 
October life


October was also pretty cold, windy and we even had some rain. 
October life


AYSO soccer season ended this month. He loved it and will definitely play again next year. No activities planned between now and the New Year but maybe some swim lessons in the spring. 
October life


More than a few late nights in the office means this is my view on the way home. I come home to a happy home of two kids and Rich. So you know, these lights lead me where I belong. 
October life


Snuck in a pedicure. Same color for the last 11 years. I'm a real daredevil. 
October life


Exploring local eats. This place is awesome. Charlie wants to go every time we drive by. 
October life



October ended with Halloween and November kicked off with Alice taking a trip to the ER for croup. The holiday season is go, go go.

Happy holidays!




Monday, November 11, 2013

Halloween 2013

Charlie is finally of the age where he appreciates Halloween. Costumes, candy, decorations, spooky music - all of it. It's a reminder to celebrate the holidays. Stop and smell the candy corn once in a while.

My company hosts a huge Halloween event for the employees and our families. The kids were pretending to write some documents and take some calls in my office.

Halloween 2013

After a costume change for Charlie (he wore last year's dirty old Batman costume to my office event), Optimus Prime made an appearance for neighborhood trick or treating.

Halloween 2013

Halloween 2013

My sister-in-law Robin did two things for me this Halloween: (1) she sent me a link to CostumeExpress.com's major sale last summer so I could score these costumes on the cheap and (2) made the kids really nice-we'll-use-these-every-year treat bags.

Alice was a little devil. Appropriate as she's entering her terrible twos.

Halloween 2013

She understood enough to follow the big kids up to the door for candy. Other than that, she came along just for the wagon ride.

Halloween 2013

We trick-or-treat with our neighbors (not all pictured here). We have for years. Love it. Although this year, there weren't as many houses in the Halloween spirit.

Halloween 2013


Halloween 2013


At the end of the night, we take most of the kids candy when they aren't looking and give it to the obnoxious teenagers who come to our door. Saves us a week long sugar hangover with the kids. (Yeah, we're mean parents.)

First major holiday down of the season. Two more to go. Plus two kids' birthday parties and Rich's 36th birthday. We stay busy November through December.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

89 hours, 1 minute

Rich has been gone (visiting a friend in Ohio) for 89 hours and 1 minute as I write this post. Which means he will be home in 21 hours and 59 minutes THANK GOD. This is the first time in my history of motherhood that I have parented truly alone for any extended time. When Charlie was an infant, Rich traveled for a night or two. But that was cake. Fill a bottle, change a diaper, rock a tiny swaddled cuddle bear.

No, this, THIS almost-5 year old and almost-2 year old wrangling event that has been going on here was not cake. There have been good moments, yes. Some feet kicked up, smooshed together on the couch watching Monsters University or sitting at the dinner table being polite and grateful. Charlie stepped up to the plate and helped load the car, carry dishes to the sink, made sure Cook didn't run away (because she tried - and I empathized with her). Alice wanted to sit on my lap and brush my hair and was a chatterbox.

However, the operations of a small household, two small children, 3 large piles of laundry, 1 anxious dog, soccer practice, getting myself to work fully dressed and showered, packing lunches, remembering share toys, putting shoes on, taking stickers off are non-stop when your partner isn't there to step in. Or carry the load.


while Rich was away

Rich carries the load. I'm the Vice President to his Chief Operating Officer of our Home and Kids. He's got this thing nailed. Did I mention he's really, really patient with the kids? The way I lost my shit today with yelling, eye rolling and empty threats demoted me to mail room of our Home and Kids. I plan to turn in my self assessment in 21 hours. Maybe 45 hours - after I've decompressed.


September Life


Some of the more challenging moments in no particular order:


  • Alice learned how to climb out of her crib for the first time. Just came walking out into the living room like she owned the joint. 
  • Alice created a poop Picasso in her crib Saturday during nap time. In her crib, on the sheets, her stuffed animals and on herself. I cried. Really hard. 
  • Charlie was in a bad mood this morning and slammed the bathroom door. Alice's fingers were in that door. 
  • I hit my head, hard, on the corner of the bathroom counter as I was coming up from cleaning candy corn vomit from the floor. Vomit that I didn't know was there but that ants knew was there. I cried. Really hard.
  • We have ants. 
  • Alice drew all over the living room wall in purple crayon. I left it. 
  • There's a neighborhood cat that continues to shit in my driveway. This morning, as I was loading the kids in the car, I stepped in it. 
  • Charlie learned the word "testicles" and has decided to use it in public. 
While this may read as a whiny rant from a tired woman with no real right to complain, it isn't. It's a love letter to my husband. Come home, babe. Come home. 

Below are some photos from the past 89 hours. No editing, no captions. Just life. 



while Rich was away

while Rich was away

while Rich was away

while Rich was away

while Rich was away

while Rich was away

while Rich was away