Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Parker!

You're four today! You've asked me everyday for the past few weeks if you were four yet and today is finally that day. When I got to tell you yes this morning you threw your hands in the air and exclaimed "YES!!!! See Mama, wook how big my feet are! Its cause I'm four now." For your birthday today you'd like to go to the mall and go shopping and then make a cake with a turtle and a pteranodon on top. You've asked for a Belle costume and a remote control skunk.

Life with you is not boring. You are passionate and that applies to everything in your life. You don't just get upset, you are DEVASTATED. You aren't just happy, you are ECSTATIC. And you can go from one of those emotions to the other, and back, in a matter of seconds. You challenge my patience almost everyday. You also do or say something everyday that makes me laugh out loud or amazes me. You are creative and smart and just plain crazy. I never in a million years thought that as a mom I would have to say things like, "I know you're a mountain lion, but please don't hiss at the waitress anymore, ok?" You are still very much the actress, role playing as dinosaurs, animals, bugs. You completely devote yourself to your role, and your body language and mannerisms are amazingly accurate. My favorite characters are your hissing, crouching raptor, and the bug eyed, tongue flicking "chamil-i-kan."

You went to school for the first time this year and loved every minute of it. You made a ton of friends, boy and girl. I heard from several parents that their kids only talk about you when it comes to school. You were "best fwiends" with Nicolas, sometimes Juliette. You loved the rituals of school, the standing in line and folding your hands and singing the songs. You already knew your letters, shapes and colors, so all you truly gained from this year of school was a little more social maturity, how to share, take turns.

Listening to me and your big brother talk about the sounds letters make, you've picked up on it and are starting to try to sound out words on your own. You have a handful of words you know by sight. You begged for a workbook which we bought for you, and you are very serious about doing your "work." You've taken it upon yourself to learn how to write letters. You are still very much an artist, coming up with new techniques and ideas all the time. You love to paint on your easel, and draw with your crayons. Your new thing lately has been assemblage art, cutting and gluing all sorts of crazy things together to make something new. You made a Puss in Boots the other day. You used a cutout of a cats head, then glued down a harmonica for his body, and were about to glue down our can opener when your dad discovered you. The can opener has black handles, so when it was all put together it really did look like he was wearing boots.

You and your brother are still two little peas in a pod. You crack each other up, laughing long into the night when you should be sleeping. You look out for each other and have inside jokes. You make him laugh with your made up songs. He makes you laugh with fart jokes.

You get more beautiful everyday. Walking around with you is sometimes like walking around with a mini celebrity. We get stopped all the time, told you are too cute! so pretty! Walking with you through a restaurant I can see people nudge each other and point at you, coo how cute you are. And you notice it too. You hold your head a little higher, smile sweetly and say thank you.

I can't believe my little rolypoly newborn is four years old, you've brought so much joy to us and I can't even begin to explain how much we love you, Squirrels. Happy Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ENC, Newport Beach

Some fun with my iPhone app, LoMob (a photo convertor). We went to one of our favorite free spots, the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. Would you ever guess this was Newport??

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why I'll Never Homeschool (and why I pray for patient teachers in Parker's future)

Parker begged for this workbook at Costco and she's loved "doing" the worksheets inside. Its a Kindergarten book, so most of it is a little above her skill level, but she loves it and very seriously tells me as she sits down, "I just hab a wot a work to do today Mama." Tonight she was doing this worksheet. She did one pretty good nice straight line (this is a handwriting sheet, you're supposed to trace the dotted line) but then informed me, "Mama, I just want to draw the sound dey make." and then made the wavy lines you see whilst making the appropriate animal noises. And I was too impressed by her creativity (and not that serious about her "work") to correct her. But I couldn't help but shake my head for what lies ahead for the poor unsuspecting teachers in her future...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meet Carrots

We had talked about getting a new cat once the house was totally put together. We were getting really close (three boxes!) so I started to look on craigslist just to see what was out there. I had planned on going through a friend of ours who fosters kitties, and when I saw a little tabby kitten being fostered through the same rescue group, I asked my friend if she knew the woman, or the kitty. Turns out she did! But the kitty I had seen was not a good match for a house with kids and dogs. She did, however, have a slightly older tabby who was great with kids and dogs. She sent us this video of the then named Jerome, who had been scheduled to be put down in a LA shelter before this foster mom stepped in. We immediately fell in love with him, even from the short video you can tell he was a sweetheart. And we were right. The kids renamed him Carrots (for no apparent reason). He's been nothing but sweet and playful and mellow. He's a big head-butter, even tried to love up on Tammie. I caught Parker "playing the drums" right above his head with a spoon and pot and he just bemusedly looked up at her. He has a little cold and has been a good boy about taking his medicine and seems to be getting better.

This is the rescue group we got Carrots from, if you or someone you know is looking for a kitty, I highly recommend this group. Not only will you have a better idea of the personality of the kitty, they come fully vetted (so no fleas, no underlying health issues to surprise you), neutered and microchipped, all for a really reasonable adoption fee. You can find out more about them here, at

Parker's Birthday List

The kids are excellent window shoppers. They know that the majority of the time we are not walking out of a store with something they want. They do however request that certain items be put on their birthday list. Parker's taken it one step further this year and has started demanding that I take a picture "So you don't forget." I thought they make a funny collection of pictures.

Side note: If you were planning on buying Parker a birthday present, please for the love of all things holy DO NOT BUY HER ANYTHING PLUSH. For reals. I'm pretty sure we have every single species covered. She's just physically incapable of not immediately falling in love with every single stuffed animal she's ever seen. And she already conned her Nanny into buying that Hello Kitty Fox. ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kid's Room - Part I

One of the things that really sold us on our new house was the kid's room. Its huge. The condo is listed as a dual master, so their room is as big (maybe even bigger) than ours. And we'd rather have them share one big fabulous room than cram them into two separate tiny rooms, which is how most of the houses around us are made. We wanted a room for them to play in, sleep in, read in, do everything in. In that spirit of space saving we decided to get a bunk bed. I've been talking up the bunk bed since way before we ever moved. Parker requested curtains, Fin requested that it be painted a color. So using Fin's favorite "Matterhorn" fabric as a starting point we settled on a bright cherry red. The red looks so cheerful and lovely on their dark wood floors. I finished Parker's curtains today and think they turned out great! She hasn't seen them yet, but I think she's going to love them. She better! Hanging curtain rods on the inside of a bottom bunk is NOT easy, let me tell you. Especially since I can't even sit straight up on her bed. I have a definite kink in my neck. :) I was able to go through and organize their books yesterday, and hang Fin's shelf for his Matterhorn collection. I'll post more pics of the rest of the room soon!

*The fabric on the body pillow was our inspiration

*I still need to sew a pillow for the window seat