Sunday, November 6, 2011


ok...not too bad, just a little under a week since halloween and i'm getting my post up!  i'm on a roll.  halloween was super fun this year - both kids were really into it.  involved in picking out their costumes, racing from door to door for trick or treats and of course, gobbling up as much candy as possible.  ugh. 

kellen decided this year he would be a train - he wavered between james, busy as a bee james, thomas and finally landed on percy.  with the move just behind us, we had plenty of boxes, so i googled thomas the train costumes and came up with some great tutorials for creating a train out of some boxes, hot glue and paint.  i got right to work on cutting out the pieces and while maya napped, k and i worked on painting and gluing. 
mr percy the train (with face painted by grandma!)
when maya found out kellen would be percy, she quickly decided she would be ata hat...aka sir topham hatt.  the round, friendly head of all the trains on thomas and friends.  ever since our "day out with thomas" adventure in hood river, she has had a mild obsession with ata hat.  everytime halloween was mentioned she would declare "ata hat!".  so ata hat it was.  i ordered a kid's size top hat off amazon and went out to search the second hand stores for a little boys suit.  after no luck, i happened to be talking with a mom of kellen's friend and she mentioned that his favorite thing was to wear a suit that his dad had bought for him.  lucky for us...we were able to borrow the suit jacket and that almost completed our costume.  i had found a little yellow shirt at goodwill that i cut into the shape of a suit vest, a black piece of felt tied into a tie and some grey pants, white shirt and black shoes that are part of our every day wardrobe rounded out our little miss sir topham hatt. 

here's a side by side with the real sir topham hatt and our little miss topham hatt...not too bad!  actually super cute!  she put the costume on at 1 in the afternoon to go visit our old neighbor and didn't take it off until late into the evening! 

miss maya topham hatt
the "real" sir topham hatt

maya topham hatt and torsten the big red dog!
miss topham hatt and percy the train

trick or treat!

maya and daddy in line for trick or treat

kellen unfortunately found it pretty difficult to run from house to house with his percy costume off it came and we hauled that thing all around the neighborhood.  note to self:  no more cardboard box costumes.  they are super cute and impressive, but not realistic and will promptly be discarded in favor of keeping up with the friends for more candy!  on the plus side, we now have a real fun percy costume/toy that has gotten some good playtime post-halloween and it was a fun project for us both!

the crew mid trick or treating!
for the second year in a row, we met up with our "baby and me" friends...tilden and torsten, tom and wes, kellen and maya, sydney, henry...just missing hadley.  we all enjoyed a great halloween feast of pulled pork, sweet potato fries and other yummy treats prior to heading out to trick or treat in the ladd's addition neighborhood.  it's so much fun to see how much more into it the kids are each year. 

post trick or treat...and they ALL chose to eat a sucker!

the loot!

on a sugar high in their new halloween jammies!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


aye aye aye...big time fail in the blog department! what can i say, moving, the start of preschool, two kids, a bit of work, life, birthdays and halloween has all taken precedence over blogging. i have such good intentions, but just can't seem to make it to the computer to bang out a blog post. so here is a big dump...

we moved! it's already been seven weeks. yikes. the house is slowly starting to feel like our home and not a vacation house that we are borrowing for a week. the odd, not our smell of the house is going away and it's starting to feel familiar. i'm becoming less nostaglic for our old house - in fact was over visiting our old neighbors and didn't even pay too much attention to our old house (other than to see if they were keeping up the yard work!). it's feeling comfortable. now if we could just get ALL the boxes unpacked, ALL the pictures on the walls, some decisions on more paint colors, and buy a few (or more) things that we need...we'd be in even better shape!

the kids have adjusted really well. especially maya who...HALLELUJAH!!! sleeping in her own big girl bed. it was a thousand times easier than we anticipated, considering she slept every single night of her almost two year life in our bed and practically in my arms. she more often than not sleeps through the night and if she does wake up, it's best if aa goes in to get her settled as he can be in and out in a few minutes (as long as he doesn't fall asleep on the floor!). she prefers us to lay and snuggle her until she is asleep when going to bed, but aa and i both now snuggle her for a few minutes and then tell her "i'll be right back" to leave her on her own to fall asleep. i actually have to tell her that i need to brush my teeth and i'll be right back and that will somehow alleviate any tears. i won't lie...sometimes i miss her...but i couldn't be more thrilled to have our bed back. it's such a treat and my back and neck are happy too! kellen has been pretty good, although the combination of a too scary halloween story and a new house with new noises and shadows has had him a little fearful and calling out for us to make sure no one was coming in and that the shadows were nothing to be afraid of...err. just when we get one sleeping better the other has trouble!

i took a picture of each of the kids in their bed before we moved and then a shot of each of the kids fast asleep in their own new rooms on their own new beds (really mattresses on the floor at the time!).

to make things really exciting...the week we moved was also kellen's first day of preschool! it was a big day and i won't lie...i felt a little emotional, but let's face it...i dropped him off at stringer (the nike child development center) for 9-10 hours a day, four days every week for 2 full years. but, we had been home together for the last full year and it definitely seems like such a milestone! we chose a great, play-based preschool called small friends. it's pretty hands on, as the parents volunteer in the school once every 4-5 weeks (which i really love) and the teachers seem wonderful (have been there for 15 and 20+ years). he is loving it and i think we both wish it was either a little longer or at least one more day per week. right now in the younger class he goes just tuesday/thursday from 8:30-11:45. he will often ask us if it's a school day yet! here are some pics from his first day:

big preschooler - ready to tackle the first day of school...after the first night in our new house!

little sister getting in on the picture taking action...notice the lock box still on the door and maya's pj's and crocs!

getting comfortable in the classroom with dad at the potato head table

maya running through the halls of kellen's school!

in other news, aa and i both turned 35 in october...sounds sorta old, but we really don't have time to dwell on it. and i honestly don't have any problem with getting older (at least yet!). definitely feels like a much closer to 40! we talked about taking a little trip - maybe to sf...but it's looking like we'll take a kid-free night or two to the beach and save our pennies for the house. it's crazy to think that when we met we were 19 (nearly 20) years old...and yet here we are, solidly in our mid-thirties, with two little darlings and a lot to be thankful for - especially each other!

...and how could i even mention my birthday without mentioning our big TWO year old??? i'm sure this deserves a post of it's own...but let's be honest, if i wait it might not happen! ugh. october 21st is really about my girl. i can hardly believe she's's flown by and yet feels like she came into this world just yesterday. she's the sweetest, fiestiest thing ever. she weighs 21 pounds 10 ounces...actually up to 24th percentile on the growth chart, but still quite a peanut. her height is 32 inches (and i didn't catch the percentile on that one...typically second child slight!). some of her favorite phrases are: "me do it" or "maya do it" (and watch out if you don't let her!), "how about me" (or how about maya/nellen/mama/dada...the girl is always looking out for her fam!), "no, nellen" (her second version of first it was nennen) and "go duckies!". she has very strong opinions about almost everything...especially what she wears and what she eats. she talks up a storm, loves her big brother, is both a mama's girl and daddy's girl...but at different times. her favorite books in the last few months are: 10 little dinosaurs, my car, baby faces and baby born. her two year molars have yet to make an appearance. she loves to eat protein (chicken, turkey, salami, eggs, peanut butter...straight from the jar!) and isn't a huge fan of whole grains, although rice is pretty good. she's a total junk food junkie - chips, candy, cookies, chocolate, cupcakes, ice name it, she doesn't seem to have ANY problem eating any of those options. she LOVES babies...and will randomly name off her favorite babies - baby tato, baby adelynn, baby molly, baby nammy, etc. she doesn't however love baby dolls or really anything very "girly". anything her brother loves - she loves. for example, thomas the train, lightning mcqueen, etc. she'll push trains or cars around in her little doll stroller all day long. when given an option to do anything, she will usually ask to play trains and build tracks...just like her nellen.

all she wanted for her birthday was ime meam (ice cream) and bawoons (balloons) because I did nothing for her for her first birthday (well a little family party...but nothing with any friends) and since we had just moved...we invited some of her favorite baby friends and some of my favorite mamas over to a playdate birthday party...complete with ime cream sundaes and a balloon animal making clown. the clown was a hit with most of the kids...although it did frighten a couple of them! it was utter chaos with 19 children 3.5 and younger, but loads of fun. maya wasn't sure at first, but warmed up right away. and after talking for weeks about wanting balloons...was too overwhelmed by it all to want one when it was time.

and here she is...hiding behind the couch, not so certain of what is going on with the clown!

"two!!!" ...and those are rice crispy treats, orange because of the strange pumpkin marshmallows the kids picked out!

on sunday, we ended the birthday celebrations with a family birthday lunch...full of paninis, homemade soups and ice cream cake with yummy toppings!

topping choices, minus the gummy bears...which were devoured on friday!

enjoying every last bite of her ice cream cake with papa!

this year she had NO problem getting into the present opening!

enjoying some fun times with uncle bry...otherwise known as "oh bry!"

as i said on my facebook update on our baby girl decided to make an early appearance and surprise me on my birthday. at the time, i wasn't totally thrilled. today (oct. 21, 2011), i think it's the greatest thing ever and can't wait for all the birthday celebrations to come.

it's true...i truly hoped she'd hold off until oct. 22 that night, but nope...11:57 pm she was pulled outta me and i really couldn't believe it. and now i feel so lucky to share the day with her. i envision mani/pedi's, shopping sprees and many more exciting adventures as she gets older for our big day. and with that...i'll try to post halloween pictures/updates before december arrives! no promises though...clearly that would not be worth betting on me for that!