Friday, November 28, 2008

Delightful Surprises...

Every once in awhile I find lovely treasures to clean up after a bath...
At least it's super clean now!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nate's Dog

Nate's sister Heather got Nate the Best Christmas Gift (the one he always wanted as a little boy) last year...a mechanical dog that barks and does back flips. Katelyn has been a little wary if not down right petrified of the thing so it has only been a hit with the adults. While playing with 11- month old Charlie today, she warmed up to Doggie. Yes 4 hours of yipping dog noises but it sure made my day easy! Sarah was rather excited herself! How easily us females are influenced by boys...

Notice they all have their very own toy...Charlie's barks and does flips, Sarah's rings and opens, Katelyn's winds up and shimmies!

Sarah's other best friend...

Thanks Grandma Starley for the darling Thanksgiving Clothes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sister Tea Party

My mom sent the girl's a really fun tea set this last week. We've had sister tea parties and friend picnics and it's been great for kid-sized dishes when my sink has been over-loaded...
Thanks Mom!

Princess Bed

Recently Katelyn has been in the habit of running over to Sarah's crib and climbing up to peek over the bar and say "Good Mornin' Sarah." It's not a pretty site when she doesn't get to be first, but that's another story. Katelyn is in the habit of placing her "Baby Sarah" doll from the dollhouse family into the crib when Sarah goes down for a nap. Thankfully, for some reason, this particular day of note I layed Sarah down on my bed. Katelyn dutifully climbed up and layed her doll down. Just then the mattress crashed down about 4 feet. Katelyn was still standing on the shell of the crib, stunned. The weird thing is the bed came down on the opposite side from where she was standing so I am not sure if she just wiggled the bearings lose but the entire metal holdings separated from the wood...
Nate and I decided it was time for Katelyn to move out of the crib and we found a fun little toddler bed "Princess Bed" and Katelyn has loved it. One of the sweetest features is being able to kneel by the bedside with her to say nightly prayers.

Sarah waking up the sleeping Princess...
360 view of the girl's room...

"Butterflies & Birds"
Paper Mobiles Katelyn and I made in our Prep-Preschool Curriculum.

Breaking in the Princess Bed
(side mom says she came to check on me one night and she found me asleep on the floor and my bed was filled with stuffed animals. When she asked what I was doing I told her that I couldn't make any of my dollies feel left out so I put them all in my bed. Then there wasn't enough room for me to sleep on the bed so I curled up on the floor. It looks like Katelyn takes after her mom on this one...)

More sleeping but this time in Mom's Princess Bed...

The bib says it all! (Katelyn wanted to relive the highchair for a meal...)

Sarah's standing and taking assisted steps!

I can't believe my little 9 month old is so ambitious! What can I say, when there's a will there's a way...

FYI Sarah just had her 9 month appointment and she is in the SIXTH Percentile (6%) for weight AND heighth. She came in at a whopping 15lbs 12oz and 26 inches tall. What a shrimp!

Look at those CHUBBS!
She's proportionate so it doesn't appear that she's so tiny and it doesn't hurt that she's a baldy blonde... It's settled. Sarah is an advanced 9 month old trapped in a 6 month old body. We love her just the way she is.

Oh and the doctor said most likely she will need to go under general anesthesia for her eye shortly after her first birthday, bummer!

Christmas Early

This all came about because I went with the girls to play at the mall and we wound up entertaining Katelyn for 3 hours straight with the dollhouse on display there. Potterybarn Kids Dollhouse is not exactly in our budget so I decided to take matters into my own hands...Michaels had a super great deal for the shell of a dollhouse at $20. I purchased a few strips of balsa wood, some paint, and scrapbooking materials. I sprayed the outer shell with fleckstone to make it appear stucco-ish. Next I stained the hardwood floors inside. Next cut each balsa strip in half lengthwise and made 1 inch markings to make the shingles. I used spray adhesive (3M) to tack things down and good ol' white elmer's glue to make it permanent. I cut out the wallpaper from scapbooking paper and adheared with spray adhesive (be careful, you only have one shot at it). For the outer shell I again used an exacto knife and balsa wood to create the look of the trim, door, and windows. They are attached with Elmer's glue and a staple gun. The window openings are laminated fabric to look like curtains and the doorknob is a brad. Some fun scrapbooking embellishments like maps, banners are the wall decorations. I have mini pictures of the family laminated awaiting there "frames". Grandma and Grandpa supplied the furniture. I am still working on getting the right stones for a rock fireplace but eventually it will get in there. A fun teapot from a previous co-worker is the centerpiece of the living room. There is more to complete but plenty to entertain Katelyn with. She takes the dolls and makes sure they are in bed when she goes to bed or takes a nap. The Daddy doll leaves the dollhouse when our Daddy goes to work. We've had tea parties with the dolls (thanks mom for the darling tea set...there will be more photos) and I am sure we will find lots more to do with them in the future.
My favorite Dollhouse book while growing up was When the Dolls Awoke. I think it's like $2 through Amazon or something. Nate's not sure if this early Christmas is for me or the girls...I guess you can decide!

"The Family is One of Nature's Masterpieces" Georges Santana

Katelyn's First Braids!

Don't mind the messy house. That's what it takes to get braids in Katelyn's hair.

One Eyed Willie

Poor Sarah! She was born with blocked tear ducts in both eyes. Around 2 weeks old the eye on her right opened on it's own. We keep rubbing and cleaning as much as we can and hope that the left eye will open soon. I guess around 1 year if it has opened the doctor can go in and open things up sugically but hopefully that wont be necessary. Have any of your kids had this?

Don't let Sarah fool you, she gets the princess treatment too.

Katelyn showing off her bandaid because her tummy has an owie (stomach ache).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gamble Gardens

Inside the Hut

Katelyn and Benjamin

Beautiful Gazebo

Making Friends in the Garden

"It is my garden now. I am fond of it. I shall come here every day," announced Colin. Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden.

Okay so maybe we wont go every day but that's how I felt as I walked along the quaint paths. Gamble Gardens is a little bit of heaven! I can just imagine discussing Books like The Secret Garden, Pride and Prejudice, or Thumbelina here. You can have brunches or they have a long picnic table under the big tree where you can pack a lunch. Holly Allison sent us for a picnic with all of Katelyn and Sarah's little friends here. The kids played in the little hut and ate the yummy cookie sticks that Holly made (leftover Halloween candy bars on a popcicle stick wrapped in cookie dough, then baked). I wish you could all come for a picnic with us! For now just enjoy the scenery.

San Diego Travelog


Quick, throw everything together and head south on our roadtrip to San Diego! We had heavy doses of the new Tinkerbell movie and sugary princess snacks but at least we didn't have our flight return due to heavy fog...BTW leaving just before 5 was perfect because of A. the carpool lane and B. the kids fell asleep for the majority of our travels.


San Diego Harbor (Do you see the massive helicopter aboard?) Shortly after this photo we dropped Nate off for his implant conference and set out to explore the area.

Balboa Park to see the show at the Indoor Puppet Theater. Sarah was in the Bjorn for most of these photos...

Picnic and trip around the United Nations country house exhibit
FYI if you need to improvise a spoon, the medicine dropper works great!

Aren't these puppet's amazing?

More Dancing to Monster Mash


Happy Halloween Girl's!

Birch Aquarium- Absolutely gorgeous views and everything was perfectly age appropriate for Katelyn. There was even a hand puppet section of all the sea creatures. We had such a great time.

Currents Exhibit-Katelyn had fun building a dam and watching the powerful current flood over top...

La Jolla Shores Beach
We set up a picnic lunch on the grass after a muddy castle building contest between Sarah and Katelyn and some tentative wading. The waves were so gentle on the beach that I felt very comfortable with both girls in the water...and the massive lifeguard station 10 feet away.

My best attempt at capturing our girl's trip.

What could that scary rustling sound be?

It's Sarah with her best Boo!

We decided to avoid the crowds of people in the Gaslamp District and opted to bond over Kung Fu Panda. That or I was too embarrassed to talk to the bouncer on the 22nd floor again. I headed up there to take some rooftop shots and he asked for some ID. I wasn't sure if I should feel flattered or annoyed that he didn't think I was 21 with my two kids in tow...


Sea World!! What an amazing place! We stayed for 7 hours and loved just about every minute of it. Trick or treating this year consisted of about 5 trips to the hotel lobby of the Marriot to pick up a hershey kiss. We were thrilled to find out Sea World was still decked out for Halloween with themed shows and trick or treat stands along the pathways.

Abby Ka Dabby's Teacups!

As you can see from Katelyn's expression there is a reason for the recommended highth chart...

Katelyn much preferred the Sesame Street Archways.

Shamu's Splash (Sarah and I were very glad we stayed up high while Nate and Katelyn hung out in the Soak Zone)

Leapin Killer Whale

Gal Pals


San Diego LDS Temple

Making sure Sarah is secure

Running in the halls of San Juan Capistrano...Look familiar? Yes it's the same Spanish Mission we have hanging in our living room. Want a comparison? Check out

We saw these flying over Camp Pendleton, Brett has a pretty cool view of the ocean...sorry we missed ya on Halloween.