Sunday, April 22, 2012


It's Sunday morning and Abby is busy watching 'The Little Mermaid' because I needed to distract her from the desire to play with all of Nolan's new birthday toys.  Our rule is that if the toy is new, and especially if it's a gift, you don't have to share it on the first day.   I tried to sway her interest in the direction of her own amazingly fun toys, but they weren't new and forbidden, and so she refused.  I tried to get her to draw (something she usually loves to do), but she wasn't interested in that either.  I had Nolan go to his room and bring down some old superhero toys that Abby could play with instead of the newly opened Avengers superheroes.  That worked for about two minutes.  After all of these attempts, I did what any good mother would do and turned on the television.  Attention span be damned.  I needed my daughter to stop complaining immediately (you can only listen to so many, 'it not fair' and 'he not nice' complaints in one morning) and I knew that a singing mermaid and a crab named Sebastian would do the trick.  

And so, with Nolan completely occupied with his new birthday treasures, and Abby zombified on the couch in front of singing sea creatures, I have a moment to myself.  

I'm using my moment to dedicate a post to my sister who is celebrating her b-day today.  Her birthday is just three days before Nolan's.  When he was getting ready to enter our big-bad-world she was all like, 'he better not come on my birthday'.  I'm sure that she was relieved when her 2006 birthday passed and Nolan was still nice and toasty in the womb.  Despite not wanting to share her big day with her nephew, she is a wonderful, loving aunt (she already has to share the day with the earth, so I guess I can understand - I mean everyone is celebrating ED today, right?  What an overshadow).  

What should I put on the blog that would make my sister most happy?  Pictures of her, of course (if you have ever seen her bedroom, you know this is true)!  She is beeeeautiful, and smart, and determined, and confident, and funny, and an incredible athlete, and I'm so very proud of her.  I only make fun of her because she is my sister, and I feel like it's part of my job description to do so.  

Happy, happy birthday little sister.  I wish I was there to arrange a family dinner at some restaurant where we would all laugh, debate some issues, roll our eyes at our discussions and each other, and talk about YOU, since it is your day.  Thank you for being such a fun sister, and an amazing aunt to my kiddos.  Miss you and love you more than you know.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

The If-You-Make-It-To-the-End-of-This-Post-You-Must-Be-a-Relative Post

Oh, March.  It was a loaded month for the K-Family.  In early March we all filed onto a plane and made an unexpected trip to Kentucky to be with family for an event that I'm going to keep quiet about rather than share with the whole wide world (What?  The whole wide world MIGHT read my blog.  You don't know.  Or it could just be a couple people.  Either way I'm super interesting because I blog about once every other month).  After that exhausting week, we came back to California very briefly for a bit of school and a visit with my cousin Hannah and her fiance John David, and a visit with my sister.   Before I knew it, it was spring break and we were on a plane heading back to Kentucky once more.  I purchased the tickets before the above mentioned family thing, and considered canceling the trip very briefly, but knew that everyone, including myself would have been severely disappointed.  I don't like being disappointed, or disappointing others, so we stuck to our original plans.

Nolan and Abby standing at the Griffith Observatory with Hannah and John David.  We picked up some sour Pinkberry frozen yogurt on the way.  I made the kids wear their pajamas because we were going to be out until after bedtime, but didn't realize until we arrived that Abby's PJ's had feet.  Oops!  I tried to carry her most of the time, but that kid is heavy!  So, I ended up letting her walk a bit on the sidewalk.  Her pajama'ed feet were black when we got home, so I changed her while she was half asleep, which sort of defeated the purpose of having her wear her pj's out at all.  

Mom tip #341:  When your kid wakes up from their nap screaming, whining, begging to be carried, and acting as if they are ready to rip your eyeballs out if you tell them that they have to ask and say 'please' rather than demand that you give them juice... just toss them in the dryer for a few minutes.  They come out wrinkle free and all smiles.  (She is actually sitting in the door of the washing machine.  I would never stick my kid in the dryer and turn it on ((or stick her in the dryer while it's off - geeze)).  Just in case you were worried...)

Nolan saw Bebe sleeping in her bed and asked if I could move her bed onto the couch so that he could snuggle with her.  That boy loves his Frenchie! 

Stasia was on a cupcake kick while she was visiting, so she and the kids made some after baths one night.

The kids thought they were DElicious.

So did Stasia.

Stasia and I at the Griffith Observatory without the kids.  The G.O. is so much better kid-less because I'm not constantly worried about one of them falling off of a 100 foot cliff (even if there are four foot walls, I still worry.  I can't help it).  Stranger #1 took a picture of us so close up that you couldn't see any of the lights behind us and it looked like I was lunging for the camera.  Before stranger #2 took the picture, I specified that we wanted the lights in the background.  He probably thought I was an idiot for feeling the need to point that out, but obviously not all strangers have common sense and I didn't want to have to find a third one to take another picture.   

Abby turned 2-4-5 during our visit.  That's what she told everyone, anyways.  

The birthday girl in her birthday dress.  

The best cake in the state of Kentucky (at least).  Strawberry cake.  Thank you Mark and Joan!

For the second year in a row Abby had an emotional breakdown during the birthday song.  As soon as the song was over, she was fine.

Birthday cake AND M & M's.  When you turn 3, you just have to go all out.

The parachute was a very big hit.  Although, it did prove to be dangerous.  Abby was kicked in the head twice, and Nolan clothes-lined himself once.  

At the end of the day we hung out in the back yard in our pajamas.

...and snuggled with Mammaw beneath the blanket that she crocheted for Abby and made Pappaw wear a Muppets wig.

Abby on her actual birthday, a couple days later.  She's posing with flowers that Mammaw gave her at her party.

Birthday picnic at the park.

Nolan practiced T-Ball while Abby played on the playground.

She made a friend named Kyla.  They played the entire time we were there.  Abby has not stopped talking about her since.

She refused to go down any of the slides alone (even though she has done so numerous times in the past) and so, Stasia went down with her.  Again and again and again . . . 

Getting ready to blow out her birthday candle on her cupcake.  No tears this time!

Nolan drew her a picture of Angry Birds for her birthday.  He spent time on it, hid it while he was drawing so that she wouldn't see it, and then placed it beneath one of her presents so that she would get it when opening her other gifts.  In this picture, it looks like it was a sweet scene between a brother and his little sister.  The reality was a bit more heartbreaking.  She looked at it and proclaimed, 'I don't like it!  I want flowers!' and then threw it on the floor.  I tried to talk Abby into liking it, but she refused.  A devastated Nolan went to his father and just laid on him, feeling rejected.  While putting him to bed,  Robert seemed to get Nolan to believe that she was saying that she wanted to draw him flowers because he drew something for her.  He questioned that argument at first, but with Robert's persistence, he seemed to believe it before the lights went off.  

I've given up on fighting the princess war.  At least she is still at the stage in which she simply enjoys dressing up and isn't completely obsessed with all things find-your-prince-or-you'll-never-be-happy Disney.

Kentucky Easter egg hunt.  Nolan had a large advantage being that he is six-years-old, has had a lot of practice, and his legs are longer making him super-fast.  So, he would (on his own) hang back at times and let Abby get eggs that he had clearly seen first.  Sometimes he would even point them out to her.  After that I said that he deserved one hundred kisses, but upon realizing that he may not enjoy that, I surrendered my own desires, and simply praised him instead.  Oh the struggles of watching your children grow.  At least Abby is still young enough that I can attack her with kisses without facing rejection.  

Easter egg dying.  I did very little work on this project.  Egg dying is not my favorite activity.  My mom did most of the work.  Did I ever say thank you?  Probably not.  Thanks mom!

Upon our return to California, we took a little trip to a favorite haunt of ours, The Natural History Museum.  It was one of those wonderful visits when you leave feeling absolutely convinced that you're kids are the best behaved kids on the planet.  It was a good time.  In the picture on the bottom, Nolan was trying to make it look like he was running from the stampeding dinosaurs.  He said Abby would have been eaten or crushed.  I told him that we probably all would have been because we wouldn't be able to outrun the dinosaurs.  He reminded me that he is super-fast.  I have a tendency to forget these little facts.

Cutest picture in the world - only to be topped by tomorrows picture, in which his shirt will be tucked in.  

His team attempting to do push-ups before the game.  


Easter morning.  

California Easter egg hunt.

Our bug-eyed, wrinkly old lady, Bebe.

The kids got bubble blowers in their Easter baskets.  Those things produced a lot of bubbles.  Bebe went nuts trying to eat them all.  

Abby's great-aunt Margaret sent her a ladybug covered bouncy ball (I really don't know what else to call it.  Is there a name for these things?).  She and Nolan have had hours of fun playing with that thing!  Thank you Margaret!

On Easter we went to Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.  It is such a beautiful place!

Nolan took our picture.  He loves to take pictures!  He took a ton at the Natural History Museum.  Most of them were blurry because his hands tend to move around when he hits the button, but he had a blast taking them.

I don't know what was happening when I took this picture, but what a face!

In the children's garden, Abby immediately made friends.  The little girl with the short brown hair kept offering Abby an imaginary soufflĂ©.  

Nolan had a five minute play date with a ladybug.  Abby would have nothing to do with it.  She wanted to be part of the fun, but every time we offered to move it to her arm, she would scream and run away.  

She may not have wanted to hold the ladybug, but she didn't want to be left out of the take-a-picture-with-a-bug fun, so she found a dead bee on the ground and insisted that I take her picture standing next to it.