Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quail Botanical Gardens

Awesome tree house! Brooklyn reigns from her preferred vantage point.
the view while crossing the parking lot to the other children's area
Tate, Brooklyn, Megan, and Ryan (in stroller)
The terraced area for moms and kids to hang-out near the cool tree house.
Beneath the shady "roots" of the treehouse, the kids chilled.
Ian, of course, crawled around and tasted all sorts of earthy delights!
Brooklyn again decided he needed to wear this outfit. It's her favorite look on him. I guess it goes along with the outing. It has a picture of Oscar the Grouch and the earth, then it says "love it, don't trash it."
Brooklyn and the twins, Beck and Tate, who are in her nursery class and are one day younger than her. They took turns holding her hand, but it was mostly Beck who initiated.
Below is the second time they were holding hands. We were happy to capture it on camera. I won't mention who is taking charge in the journey, but I'm sure you noticed.
Da kids. It must have been Tate's naptime, or close to it. He was sucking his thumb.
A playhouse
The train display
The kids, mesmerized by the working mini-train
The kids got to plant little succulents.
A parting picture. This time the pots are not hiding their faces. The other kids had left already.
Fun times!

The "Real" Deal

I know the Disney trips are getting pretty routine, but we're definitely getting some use out of those annual passes! This time Brooklyn met a live Cinderella. It was pretty cute. I can't wait 'till Halloween... this years costumes (parents included, fingers crossed!) will be Cinderelly-themed.Minnie Mouse, decked out in her Halloween dress, was standing in front of a huge candy corn.
I actually got to ride the bumper cars with Brooklyn this time because we went with our friend who kindly watched my boy (and hers) while I enjoyed the ride.
It was pretty fun bonding. I felt like a child, can you tell?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ian: Months 9 & 10

Once again, I'm guilty of not posting a monthly update on Ian! Here he is! A little about him...
He loves adventures. And, anytime he is able to eat sand or dirt or any outdoor ground covering, it IS an adventure and he WILL partake!
He's been crawling the real way for a couple of months now. He stands and walks with support.
And he still thinks he is in charge. He has two new pearly whites up top, and the "Mark of Intelligence" (as Grandpa Norton says) right between them (translation: a trademark gap which he has inherited from both sides of the family ;)
He also still likes to pour on the charms, especially for all his female admirers...
And especially when it procures tasty treats!
He's a WIGGLE WORM who rarely sits still for pictures or diaper changes.And he SO thinks he's a big dude. Meaning, he wants to eat the real stuff like big people do. He now turns his nose up at the baby cereal and only takes pieces of fruit or bread or cereal. Maybe it's those Honey Nut Cheerios that Brooklyn introduced him to! Once he tasted the sugar in those puppies, there was no turning back!
He still loves to explore. Especially when it means undoing any type of order.
We love our buddy boy. He's a keeper.

I forgot to mention his highly sophisticated communication style. It goes a little like this: a reach and an "eh" or a reach and an "EH!" or a reach and an "AAAHHH!" So intelligent!

He also loves to be with people. He loves just taging along and watching/being entertained by the big sis', especially. Also, he doesn't mind being held by me as I cook dinner, make breakfast, or just do stuff around the house. I was amazed that even the other day when I swept off the back balcony, he pretty much watched the whole time. I think he was just eyeing the dirt and trying to devise a way to get to it for his eating pleasure!

The Nursery Toys

Are finally sanitized and organized... or at least they were!Our ward has 3 nursery groups. Among the first items of business in my new calling was to clean those toys! I've only so cleaned 2 of the 3 rooms, but feel like things are looking a lot better. I should have had before and after photos, but alas, I wasn't that organized!
This next one is the only photo I could find of this closet, but obviously, this is not completely finished. It looks better now with the top all cleared off.
Brooklyn and Ian were good helpers. They pretty much tasted all the toys and didn't get sick. That doesn't mean I dirtied a bajillion disinfectant wipes in the process. We even had a slumber party with one set of large-scale legos while they dried off in our bathroom one night after getting a good tubbie!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Cake to Decorate

We have the sweetest neighbor, Jen. who made this cake just for Brooklyn. I have to admit, we felt pretty special to have such a fancy, original treat made for us, I mean, Brooklyn!The cake was like a fish tank, and Brooklyn got to decorate it with a look-alike of her fish Zoe as well as several other realistic salt-water sea creatures. (Zoe has replaced Cookie, who bit the dust long ago. Brooklyn will gladly share the details, if you ever want them.) Here is a pic. of Brooklyn and Zoe.
Below is the final product of the cutest ever fish cake. Try to ignore messed-up hairdo involving small braids, that's a whole different story.
Even the finger-lickin' faux-fondant was soooo good! Thanks Jen! That was such a thoughtful and wonderful thing for you to do! You and your fellow sculptor, Derek are amazingly talented!
We enjoyed every last bite of it! And a good portion of the fondant, too!


I had no idea what she was up to. Was she looking for something on the ground? Was she hurt?I don't even remember what she was trying to hide, but she must have felt pretty guilty about it to assume this position. I'm pretty sure it was food-related. She didn't get "busted," but I had a good laugh.


We were feeling very creative and adventurous with the hairdo this particular morning...
Maybe it was more like we just wanted to be bang-free for a day. Oh yes, and Brooklyn requested to wear all the "teeny-tiny, itty-bitty" clips from when she was a baby.
Of course, we couldn't leave out a picture of Desi's Beauty Salon's #1 fan.
Stephen says he likes pictures with this view of the kids, because it's exactly the perspective we usually have of them. Funny.

Sidewalk Art, Anyone?

Our neighbors even joined the fun on this one. We first drew one of Brooklyn's friends, then I traced Brooklyn, then we traced Ian and Ellie (Ellie is a month younger than Ian.)
Later that day when Stephen returned from work, the artwork expanded even more to include an outline of me and one of him. Pretty hillarious. I commented that I looked like a green monster. Of course, Brooklyn repeated quoted me on that one a few times throughout the day. So Stephen tried to "beautify" and enliven me by adding some awesome hair. Actually, I looked like a broom head, so he wasn't too far off...
Stephen looked like a tall basketball player. I'll try to get those pic's on the camera. It's funny because all 5 of our other neighbors have walked on these murals now for the past couple of weeks or more. I keep meaning to wash them off with some water, but.... they're slowly fading anyway.

Let's Pretend

That we have a backyard.... aaah!
Just don't eat the mushrooms!

This area is just next to the ice-skating rink located in the mall that we live right next to. It's a fun place to blow bubbles, ride the wagon, and read books on a home-made (by Evelyn) blanket. When the space is empty and we need an outing, we like to pretend it is our own private backyard.


Back to school means back to good ol' learning times!Instead of learning letters in the order of the alphabet, I decided to first focus on the letters in Brooklyn's name. They should interest her more because of the relevance (not that she has lacked interest in any letters anyway) and my goal is to get her to write her name independently soon. Currently she can only write the two "o's" and the "l" (She can spell it as a chant that I made up already.)
So "B" was first. We made a collage of all the things we could fine around the house that began with that letter. Triple points for the book because it's title is Bonjour Butterfly! The two "b's" on the plate are made with black beans. I think she's really picking it up because she now points out letters in signs just like she has been doing with numbers. (She especially seems to notice the numbers on speed limit signs.) As we walk through the mall, she points to letters on signs, it's like a whole new world has opened up to her, now that these symbols are part of a standard code. It's pretty cool. I remember how jazzed I was when I learned to read and all the things on signs finally made sense to me.