Thursday, February 28, 2013

One month

It has been one month since we planted these babies. My how they have grown. 
 I do not claim to have a green thumb but we give it our all. We have been pretty diligent about trying to keep out the snails. I think the big surge is going to come closer to easter so these might all be chewed to nubs.
Oh, and our seeds. They have turned into this! We had to transplant everything into solo cups int he last few weeks. The sunflowers and pole beans are huge. Hopefully we will be able to put them out in the yard soon. I can't wait to take pictures of the girls with the sunflowers as they grow. They are giant ones! 
Last weekend we took a trip out to ventura to this antique shop to get this little baby. I had seen something like it on pinterest and thought it would be so fun. It is an antique wash basin and stand.
Sorry for the shady picture. It is filled with basil, oregano, cilantro, two kinds of parsley and dill. Hopefully it will thrive and fill in a bit. 
 What else have we been up to this month? Well, someone is ready for summer. She would live in a swimsuit if she could. Luckily she is a slow grower and fits all her suits from last summer! Oh and the new fashion, suits and boots!
 In the spirit of summer we went to the beach last weekend. It was on our trip to Ventura to get the wash basin. We picnicked on the beach first.
 Then we rode bikes along the beach as far as our little legs would take us. Heaven!
 This little one got a free ride. She would have loved to ride a bike herself but it would have taken a month to get a mile.
 Hello beautiful day at the beach!!

This beach also has a play ground in the sand. Pretty much Lily and Gemma's two favorite things in one place.
 What else have we been up to? The Zoo! We have a teaching zoo at the junior college by our house. We got a year pass for a steal (whole family for $10!!) and we have gone two weekends in a row. It is perfect for an hour and a half and close to home. You can usually pet an animal with one of the students. This was a king snake.
 They have primates towards the back of the zoo. There are students out doing observations and interactions. My little monkeys need a cage too!! They are super loud and get freaked out of you stand too close to their cage. It is really funny and we could watch them for hours.

 They have a show twice a day where you learn about several animals and sometimes even get to hold one. These were giant cockroaches. Yuck!
 Last week was a beaver! Did you know they are in the rodent family because their teeth continually grow?
In other news our piggies continue to grow and grow while the top portion, not so much.
We love to do crafting and made some noodle necklace kits for our friends. Sometimes we even get to make messes on the cloth on the floor. 
Someone is desperate to learn to read and write. We need a magic spell to speed up the process. 

I am pretty sure next month will be more of the same. These girls keep asking when the aligator pool can come out. Oh, and then snake season will be upon us. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

All you need is love

 We started off valentine's day with a bang...Gemma woke us screaming at 4:30am and refused to fall back asleep. I guess she was so excited to love us she wanted an early start. I think my love doesn't get warmed up until about 6:30. We made our way to eat breakfast as the sun was peaking out. At least the view was pretty. I had decorated our valentine table the night before and someone sneaky left me red roses in the night!
The girls got a sweet surprise! Matching pajamas for them and their American girls.
This little sweetie slept until 7:30. After breakfast we all got dressed to go to the library for a special musical story time.
The story time was really cute, and crowded! I guess everyone had the same idea we did. It was cute to see all the kids dressed in pink and red. Gemma sat mesmerized with her big sister. I think someone is ready for preschool in the Fall!
After the library we met Goppy for lunch and she had some great books for the girls! So much love. We spent all afternoon playing and then dad came home for swimming lessons. While they were at the pool I made a special dinner and dessert! Roast chicken, potatoes, and veggies was nothing compared to the dessert.
Red velvet crepes with whipped cream cheese filling and chocolate drizzle. I even made the powdered sugar with heart shapes.
I think I am the only one who appreciated the presentation. No one else paused long enough to notice.

Then off to a quick bath before getting everyone in their matching PJ's. They have worn them pretty much every night since. Gemma thinks it is pretty sweet to wear a "dress" to bed.
The joy didn't end that day folks! The very next day while Lily was at preschool we got a Ding Dong Ditch!!! This is our new favorite experience! Grandma Nini has been leaving little treats or crafting supplies on our doorstep and then texting or ringing the bell to let us know there is a surprise. Lily is obsessed with the idea. It won't be long before we are doing some ding dong ditching of our own!
 The valentine surprise included a valentine pouch with pencils, paper, bracelets, rubber ducky, valentines, chocolates, and an American girl hair care kit!
What a hit! We spent the rest of the day playing with all the treats and we ALL played beauty shop for days and days after. Alex has become quite proficient in the application of doll curlers and hair bands. It is good training for him since he cannot do the girls hair to save his life. 

 We all felt so loved on Valentine's day. Lily is still asking to make more valentine cards. We told her that the holiday was over and so now she wants to move on to St Patty's day. Guess we are going "green" around here shortly.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

American girls

Well, half American girls at least! 

For Christmas, Grandma Nini gave the girls a special package. It included a trip to the American girl store in LosAngeles for afternoon tea, and their very own American girl doll! I am not sure who was more excited for our outing, the girls, or all us adults.
This is what the store looks like at the Grove. It is two stories and you could spend all afternoon here, and we did! Our party included Lily and Gemma, myself, Rach and Stephanie, Grandma Nini and Goppy.

The girls did a ton of research about their doll and had picked out their favorite from the catalog. Lily had strong opinions about her doll but Gemma was a little more impressionable so we tried to steer her towards the doll of the year, Saige.
Once the dolls were paid for we had them taken out of the box and got to finally hold them and start to play.
 I think this is one happy girl! The doll is almost as big as she is.
 Stephanie took Lily around the store and showed her all the historical dolls and all the awesome accessories on display.
 Lily gets to meet her doll for the first time. She picked a doll that does not have a name and story so you get to name it yourself. She named her Mary, short for Merida. As you can see she is still very smitten with the Disney  movie Brave. She insisted on a doll with long red curly hair like Merida. I have to say, the doll is seriously adorable. Even if you can't brush her curly hair or you will ruin it.
Two happy half-American girls.
 While we waited for our appointment at afternoon tea, we all got to peruse all the accessories and outfits. Every girl in the store it seems is carrying a doll or trying on new things for their doll. It is impossible not to get caught up.
 Saige is the girl of the year so she is on spotlight. They had this cute hot air balloon display to pose with.
 Gemma loves her Saige. She also loves to close her eyes to pose for cheese these days.
 Lily had so much fun playing with Stephanie while we waited patiently for our tea time.
The tea room is really amazing. It is like a movie set of what a girls dream of.

 Look at those high platters filled with finger sandwiches, jello, fruit, muffins, etc.
 Mary gor her own little chair to sit next to Lily and even her own tiny tea cup and saucer. Of course Lily and Gemma had to drink out of the tiny tea cup.
 Dessert was chocolate mousse, fruit tart, and a chocolate covered strawberry.

Lily is already making collages from the catalog of all the accessories for her wish list. She changes Mary into her pajamas every night and sleeps with her. We even played beauty parlor and did some fancy hair.
We are certainly American girl fans for life now. Thank you so much Grandma Nini for such a wonderful afternoon filled with memories, and many years of playing with our dolls.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reunited, and it feels so good!

The whole purpose of buying our passes to Disney this year was because we knew our BFF's from Seattle were planning a trip down and we wanted to meet up with them. This past Tuesday was the big day. They were in Disney for three days so we all played hookey from work and swimming and met them for a day.

To say these girls were happy to see each other is an understatement! The hugs, squeels, and joy lasted all day long.  Gemma and Natalie were both big enough to interact as well. 
 We met up in the line to see Merida. She is a favorite of Kat and Lily's right now. All we hear about is Merida. Kat dressed as Merida for halloween. Kat was not shy at all, for some reason Lily clammed up and wouldn't talk to her or let her sign her book!
 Gemma likes to play it shy and would not even look at Merida. She wasn't getting away with it this time.
With a little prodding she was soon hugging Merida.

 And posing for adorable pictures. Merida has a soft spot in her heart for red heads. She told Gemma, "you look like I did when I was little."
 This is the look I got when Lily gave Merida the cold shoulder. She was not amused.
 The whole Brady family posed for a photo. Don't feel sorry for David in there. He wanted some pics with Merida for himself! We sort of "cut" in line with the Brady's so we just gave them our kids like they were one big happy family.

The joy continues. They walked hand in hand the whole day. Luckily Lily wore her purple Huskies fleece to fit in.
 We didn't have to wait very long for any rides. We found some we could all go on together.
 I got to hang with these adorable girls while everyone went on star tours. I took them on the old time fire truck down main street. They got honorary fireman stickers.
 We saw Mickey and Minnie down there and then caught the horse drawn cart back.
 By then the big kids were done and we hung out at Cinderella's castle. It worked out really well to have so many adults because we could take turns going on the big rides like Indiana Jones and Matterhorn while the others stayed with the little ones. We also took advantage of the single rider line so we only ever waited about 15 minutes for any ride.
 The tea cups ride was closed but these girls didn't mind. They thought sitting in this tea cup was the best thing ever and kept asking to go back again and again.
 We made it over to California adventure for the pixar parade and some dinner.
 It was a really cute parade. We hopped on a bunch of rides over there with no lines. By then it was closing time and we were all pooped.
Everyone had an awesome time and did really well. Lily was not ready to leave and say good bye. There were many tears shed on the way out and she was not able to even look at Kat to say good bye. It was too sad and she was not ready to see her best friend go. It is going to be a long 5 months until we see them again.

Just so you don't think it was all joy and roses, Gemma saved her melt down for the car. She was not impressed with the pajamas I brought for her to wear on the ride home. She got so mad she screamed until she threw up all over them. That is one way to get me to change her. She did not like the spare outfit either and screamed for 15 more minutes. She finally calmed down when I gave her the camera to look at the pictures from the day. Amen for the slide show mode on the camera that plays cheesy elevator music. Put her right to sleep.

We can't wait for summer when the Brady's and Brooks family take a road trip down to see us again!