We finally put our tree up last night. After a long and enjoyable afternoon at IKEA where we were able to drop Anders off in the kid play area, we stopped by our local tree lot and found this cute little tree. (sorry about the blurry tree photo).
This year it was especially fun to hang the ornaments. Anders really got into the process and thought it was the best thing ever.
Tonight Chris' mom flies in from Cincinnati and I am really looking forward to a fun, relaxing holiday week.
We took public transportation today to visit Chris at work. In L.A. public transit is tedious to say the least. Anders was a real trooper! The third picture down was taken on Ventura Blvd during part of our journey.
The other day Anders and his little neighbor friend had fun being Spiderman. How hard is it to get a clear picture of Spiderman? Very hard!
Making marshmallow "snowmen" was a fun activity one day although Anders couldn't shovel them into his mouth fast enough!
What a weekend! I'm sitting here enjoying some good Christmas music on Pandora rejoicing that the almost cold that I felt was coming on last night never turned into a real cold. (Thank you Zicam mouth spray...)
On Friday we Anders and I had to vacate the apartment to have a crack in our bathtub fixed. Chris rented a car so that we could have a car to drive out to my folks house while he did his normal work day. Anders and I ended up spending the night in Whittier and got to go to the 56th annual Whittier Christmas parade! Anders had a bit of a cold/cough but seemed to be on the mend so I bundled us up and braved the rain to get into the festivities. I have to say that there were a few parade entries that made it well worth our while including Critters for Christ, Isis belly dancing troop, some wierd Kung Fu group and of course many other eclectic hometown groups all who were deadly serious about this parade business! It was good to be back in Whittier.
I was also able to get a good nap in that afternoon before the long drive back home. On the way home Anders proved that he has picked up my knack for back seat driving. The whole way home he commented about how I should drive, entreated me not to hit any cars and told me that I needed my fog lights on.... The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
It's always good to get back into a normal schedule after a busy weekend and I'm looking forward to getting ready for Christmas, taking the trolley to the library and making play dates this week.
On another note I am very excited and proud of Chris for landing a new job! We found out on Thursday that he'll be starting around the new year and although it will be a bit longer of a drive the pay is better and there are some good opportunities for growth. He'll still be doing Audio Engineering but will be working much more with music instead of voice over. It really seems to be just the right fit for him and he is looking forward to the transition.
The pictures at the top are taken from a Facebook fan group of the Whittier Christmas Parade. My friend Kristy organized a fabulous group of fans to wear matching tees and cheer for the parade. Local parades need to have some #1 fans!
Ps. Quick add on here.... I got a ticket the other day. The first one in over 10 years. When the Police Officer was done citing me Anders let out a big sigh and said, "I love Policemen!!".
I am looking at the Laser Level that I bought from Avon for Chris. Yes Avon carries laser levels.... I have to admit that I'm pretty excited to have found this particular item since we can't find the one that Chris' dad got for him a couple of years ago. It just up and disappeared. This one isn't as swanky as the first one but it will do the job. This was one of those gifts that was under 10 bucks but will be just right.
And no I'm not worried that Chris will find out because he doesn't read this blog! So don't any of you tell him!
If you are looking for some good gifts either for a guy or a gal go to my Avon site and see if you find anything worth while!
Have I ever mentioned that my kid is VERY persistent? He will ask and ask again and not let a subject go until he is satisfied. Chris and I figure that it will be a good trait when he's the CEO of some big company someday.....
Tonight while driving home from picking up Chris at work Anders got on a "persistent jag". He wouldn't stop talking about some little thing and he was getting pretty demanding. I was starting to lose my cool very quickly so Chris looked back and said, "Anders, you need to stop talking about (whatever it was) now because mama is getting frustrated." (I love my dear husband who steps in sometimes when he knows I need it).
Anders replied, "But MAMA, PEOPLE NEED TO TALK SOMETIMES!!"
Yesterday I realized that all of a sudden Anders is a "big kid".
He doesn't wear diapers at all anymore.
He doesn't need a high chair at restaurants (we enforced that for a LONG time).
He's talking all about everything and tries to get us to laugh. And he has lots of opinions about all sorts of things!
I can leave him alone for a minute or so while I take out the trash. Sometimes he even tells me that he wants to stay home alone instead of coming with me on errands. Of course that won't happen anytime soon!
The "little" potty chair now needs a new home.
In general I can trust him to stay by me and play safely.
I was so taken aback when I started listing these things off in my head! It's amazing how much easier life is when a toddler starts being a big kid. It makes me want to cuddle him more knowing that he'd be less likely to let me snuggle him up as the years march on!
The time has come to start playing Christmas music, get the tree up and begin Christmas shopping (if you haven't already). It's time to get your peppermint ice cream, peppermint and gingerbread lattes at Starbucks and enjoy basking in the glow of twinkle lights.
Most importantly it's time to remember a little baby that was born so many years ago who changed the course of the world.
We visited Bobby's Coffee Shop which is our new favorite place for breakfast out. Then on the way home we stopped at a scenic spot to take a few pictures. This afternoon we head on over to my folks house for a big gathering of family and non-family for some bird, bread and berries.
Oh, it has been way too long since I just wrote something and didn't post pictures of Anders. It's not the lazy way out since this blog really is just my version of Creative Memories.... (which I have no patience for).
Lately we have all had colds. Chris had a cold for about a day, Anders had one for a few days and I've had one the whole time. I'm still congested. BAH HUMBUG!
Anders is now insisting he sleep without a diaper and I'm sure it's about time! I was the hold out since I didn't want to have to change sheets in the middle of the night. So far we haven't had any accidents. WHOO HOO!
I have to say that I am a BIG promoter of waiting until your kid can SPEAK before really getting serious with potty training. It has worked well for us and it is so nice for Anders to be able to decide that he's ready for the next step and to tell us that. I love it.
Because I haven't been feeling that great this week I keep stepping on toys, sitting on clean laundry and hopping over bits of who knows what that have accumulated around the house. I'm just starting to notice and feel like I should maybe vacuum, put the laundry away and enforce the "no toys in the living room for any longer than half a day" rule. I've got to refer back to FlyLady for some inspiration. I CAN DO IT!
Other than that, life is good. I'm getting geared up for the holiday's and parent's in law visits which are much anticipated. This year I'm trying to get rid of as much clutter as possible because it always seems that around Christmas when presents come the house just explodes and this year I just want a minimalist kind of Christmas. Homey but minimal. Is that possible? I CAN DO IT!
Getting Anders to "clean up" was the fun part. I just made up a rap about cleaning up and putting everything on the table (Boom chicka chicka, putt'n the rolls on the t-t-t-table!) and it got done lickity split!
Two days ago I came into the living room/dining room and found Anders opening and closing the lid of the kitchen trash can and taking big whiffs from it. I was horrified because it was a very full can and who knows what was in there! I asked him why he was smelling the trash and he said in a dopey dreamy voice "It smells like donuts". REALLY??....
Yesterday Chris, Anders and I were enjoying a nice Sunday breakfast at the table. Chris is bouncing his leg (a habit he has that can be a bit distracting). Since Anders is getting more opinionated and sometimes ornery I thought this might be a funny conversation to look back on.
Anders - "Daddy, stop stomping your leg!"
Chris - "I can't, it's broken"
Anders - "Well, take it off and get a new one! That one's really OLD!"
Yesterday we took advantage of our local park.... what I mean by park is the massive beautiful State Park that is within 5 minutes drive for us. We went for a hike and made it to the visitors station where there were animal pelts, snake skins, taxidermy local animals including a lynx a coyote and a mountain lion! Everything was hands on. What a fun place to bring Anders to learn about nature! The docent asked Anders to help her raise the American and California flag. He was quite pleased with himself and it really topped off our vacation like experience.
Chris' iPhone came in handy since we didn't bring our regular camera. Although all of the pictures have this etherial glow/need to clean the lens look.
Yesterday I let Anders play in the shower. While he did that I chatted with my sister Heidi on the phone. We had a great conversation. We talked about everything. We laughed and talked and laughed and talked.....
At some point I figured that I should go check on Anders showering process so I walked into the bathroom and stepped in about a 1/2 inch of water. Then I smelled poop. Hmmmm that was a good time to get off the phone....
Thank goodness for towels to mop up the flood and bleach to deal with the tub that my son thought could double as a toilet. Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena multi-purpose solution came in handy too!
On a more cheerful note.... if you need something to inspire a cleaning frenzy around your house I recommend Mrs Meyers multi-purpose cleaning soap. It can be diluted for floors, counter tops, windows, sinks and anything else that needs freshening up. The scents are amazing and I personally am loving the Lemon Verbena scent. Yummy.
The scene opens up with me and my accomplice struggling to hold on to Brad Pitt in waist high murky water. I have a straight edge razor and I commit a horrible murder. Brad has on red converse tennis shoes that are hard to hide even though the water is muddy. After trying to hide him we jump out and onto a shuttle bus that is waiting for us. There is a life size dummy that I have to somehow hide from the police until we can get somewhere safe! I manage to cover the dummy with jackets and my purse. We somehow manage to escape being caught.
Cut to sometime later and my remorse is slowly eating away at my soul. I don't know how I can live life with this horrendous murder on my hands. So far no one has discovered who committed the crime and I have the choice not to reveal my wicked deeds.... But I can't! I must cleanse my conscience! Even if it means rotting in a lonely jail cell for who knows how many years. I understand the repercussions of my choice but I must confess or I'll go crazy. I think that my sentence might not be so long because I'm confessing.
Next scene. Me, sweeping the hallways in the prison. It's stark and drab. Harsh light shines through the bar covered window up near the ceiling.
I step outside myself and ask the narrator "how long was she in there?"
"She never got out" he says bleakly.
I woke up feeling so sad for that old women sweeping the hallway.
Aren't dreams just great?
***after reading this It sounds a lot worse and more depressing than it felt at the time. Dreams are funny that way.
We have a little super hero in our midst lately. A while back he heard about superman and it became a favorite hobby of his to demand that he "save" me while I cried "save me superman, save me!" Then he would jump into my arms and I would thank him profusely and give him lots of kisses. I don't know if I'm fostering some savior complex but it's pretty amusing and it does pass the time....
A couple of months ago we found a book about Spider Man. From then on all he wanted to do was practice "Spidey moves". He even knows that Spider Mans real name is Peter Parker. Grandma J. bought the costume and whenever that mask is on he poses non-stop. Flexing, rolling around on the floor in slow motion and practicing "parkour" are a few favorite activities while in the Spidey costume.
We are trying to work on thankfulness and having a good attitude with Anders... Any ideas fellow parents?
Lately he has been loudly protesting (mild description) pretty much anything that I do or suggest. From going potty to singing a song.... Of course it's not all of the time but at least 3 times a day there is a some major dramatic meltdown over seemingly silly things. Every once in a while the meltdown involves flopping onto the floor which can, and mostly does, produce some sort of head bumping or other painful experience. This doesn't help.
I'm having a hard time trying to be all joy and light which I'm sure is fueling the tension.
On a side note we watched Pinocchio the night before last and hearing the beautiful good fairy tell Pinocchio "You won't be a real boy until you learn to be brave, truthful and unselfish" made a big impact. When I brought up that quote the next day he got really serious, his eyes got big and he nodded. It was way too cute.
I wanted to share this link because it is such an interesting topic. The blog name isThe Slow Food Experiment and the author Veronica Mitchell is documenting a life without any kind of "fast" food. So everything is made from scratch including things like catchup, bread etc... In a society where food can be found on every corner (most of it not healthy) and obesity is a major problem, it's a great subject to discuss. I hope you enjoy her blog and hopefully can get as much inspiration as I am from it.
Tonight Anders really needed to be in the kitchen with me while I baked bread. After trying play dough and coloring I filled the sink up with soapy water and it didn't let me down! Here's a little clip from my goofy camera that doesn't record sound.
While uploading these pictures my heart melted. Little fingers and toes are just too much.....
Yesterday we had the first pre-school casualty. Little fingers caught in some vice on the playground. I couldn't quite get the whole story except that there was a big boy, they were playing truck on the ramp, and something went CRASH!
Today is the first day of Fall and it's 103.... I seriously can't wait for a little bit of rain or a cool puff of wind (not these horribly dry and hot bursts that keep knocking over my palm trees). I have so many memories of growing up in California and having such high hopes for Fall. The new school outfit with the knee socks and sweaters, the cute black tights and wool skirts that begged to be worn for the first day of school. Nope, not here. The sweater would be stuffed into a back pack and the tights would be regretted all day.
Soon it will be in the 80's then the 70's and then every once in a while it will rain and I'll dig out my favorite rainbow, not so flattering horizontal striped sweater with matching scarf and I'll be happy.
Sending my child off to school is such a mixed bag of emotions. I'm relieved that he's doing something fun and getting worn out, I'm a little sad that he's not home with me and of course I'm worried that he's going to catch every sickness that comes along. There's the nostalgia of my own pre-school experience at Mulberry tree where I always ran for the squeakiest tricycle, tasted green olives for the first time and saw a grown-up fall in a sand box.... I know he'll have such a good time and it is great to have the quiet time at home to get things done, read or run errands.
I took my camera when I picked Anders up. He loved the experience and didn't want to leave.
1. The walkway entering the school and all of the projects done by the kids.
2. Lunch time with the "Sea Stars"
3. Getting reminded not to climb on the railings... (my personal favorite)
4. Riding the favorite "taxi/train" tricycle.
5. Playing with friends in the sand, and yes, that is the ocean in the background!
6. The obligatory washing of the hands after school.
7. The obligatory shower after school.... we really want to make the best effort at not getting every illness passed around. Maybe it's futile but I'm going to try!
8. Anders laughing uproariously at the flash on the camera. So easily amused...