Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lazy Saturday in November

What would you say if you're at the mall, one lazy Saturday in November and you see two kids dressed like this?

Would you:

(A) Blame the mom?
(B) Quietly whisper to your kids to stay away from them?
(C) Leave the play area immediately?
(D) Encourage your kids to pull the "wild thing's" tail?

Today, we took our kids to the mall, and that's how they wanted to dress. We didn't put up much of a fight, but we did take a change of clothes. Except when we got there, we realized we didn't actually have a change of clothes for Max. So he walked around the mall as Max, King of the Wild Things.

At the play place, no fewer than 3 kids chased Max attempting to grab his tail. One little kid actually did get a grip on the tail for a minute and Max promptly dragged him across the floor. But it didn't deter the other kids, it only encouraged them. (The craftswomanship of the outfit really shined through today -- good work Larissa Kindred!)

Max also had his own fun with the tail. While walking through the mall, he had the unseemly habit of pulling the tail up between his legs so that it hung out the front of his legs. This was apparently my limit, because I told him that he could not have his tail hanging out in the front between his legs. He said he understood, but he still did it a lot.

Luckily, at the mall, we ran into some of our favorite people in the whole world Aida, James and Papa (Jamie). They were our neighbors in Quaker Hill. How we love them. For the first few years of Max's and Aviva's life, they had me as their dad and Papa as their Papa.

They didn't even notice that Max was dressed as King of the Wild Things and Aviva was dressed as ... something (Aviva said she was pretending that the pack of underwear was a bag of cookies and she was trying to go as Little Red Riding Hood; not sure I believe it). Other people at the mall clearly noticed. Many people were highly amused and I'm glad Max could bring some joy to their day. Other people were clearly not as amused. Luckily, Max didn't notice those people because he was too busy playing with the tail in front.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stowe, Vermont -- Abram's View

While Kristin was in Stowe, Vermont with the girls, Abram was in Alexandria, Virginia with the kids. It was a great weekend. Even though I had to enlist the help of our babysitter on the first two days (Thursday/Friday) because of work, Saturday and Sunday were just us and the kids. A few highlights:
  • Baltimore Aquarium. On Saturday I took all the kids to the Baltimore Aquarium and it was awesome. We learned that Leo is part dolphin. When one of the dolphins introduced himself with his dolphin-speak, Max looked up and said, "That's how Leo talks." And is if on cue, Leo proudly responded to the Dolphin with his own Leo sounds. Max and Aviva laughed very hard. I also learned that taking three kids anywhere where a stroller isn't allowed is like taking dogs on a log without a leash. And I am no dog whisperer. But the kids had a great time. I have no photos to prove it, but that's because I had three kids and no stroller. (Funny story: while I was in the parking lot near the aquarium, another family saw me get the stroller out. They told me no strollers allowed. Silly me put the stroller back in the car and then carried Leo/dragged Aviva the six blocks we needed to travel to get to the aquarium. Apparently, you're allowed to "check" your stroller at the aquarium. If I ever see that family again, I will update them on the aquarium's policies.)
  • Uncle James came over after Church on Sunday. And that's the only reason I made it. The whole weekend was great, except for Church, where I accidentally brought our super-bright markers and Aviva was wearing her flower-girl dress and a white cardigan (the mom behind me audibly gasped when Aviva first start pulled out the markers), Leo had a blowout during the sacrament so I had to drag all the kids to the men's bathroom to make the change and then drag them back in after (tough be reverent with all the dragging). So by the time church was done, I was ready for Kristin to come home. Luckily, James came over for dinner and maybe without even realizing it provided the adult companionship I needed to keep my sanity. Thanks, James. (Oh, and he helped clean up, which I'm sure Kristin appreciated!)
  • We normally have the kids get dressed, eat breakfast, and read a book of mormon story before they're allowed to watch TV. I fudged on those requirements over the weekend, and they loved me for it. I'm a bad dad sometimes, but it sure feels good to be loved.
Here are a few pictures of Aviva, unrelated to this weekend, but still cute.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stowe, Vermont

I went on a girls trip to Vermont in October and it was amazing. Lot's of laughs, good food, and good friends. I can't think of a more perfect trip.
Brandi and I

Shauri adoring me

Val and me.

Val, Brooke, Shauri, Mom, Brandi and Teresa at the Cider Mill. Gormet Magazine ranked their donuts #4 in the country. Yes, I organized my trip there around the food.

Mom, Brandi, Shauri, me, Val at the Cider Mill

Shauri, Meredith and me, snuggled up to the bear who looked like he really wanted a hug.

The Quinn Girls

Half of Emily, Arah, me, Jana and Lisa at the Ben and Jerry's factory tour.

Brandi and Shauri

We stayed at a ski lodge at the base of the mountain. It, and it's manager, Cliff, provided the comic relief for most of the weekend.

Here's Cliff grilling hamburgers for us in the fireplace during Shauri's bachelorette party. You heard me.
Cliff's headlamp

That's the kitchen window you're looking at. It was the perfect parting sight as we left for the weekend.

Doesn't she look thrilled?

Shauri and Becky

Brandi, Brooke, Emily, mom, Teresa, Shauri, Becky

Emily and Mom

We went horseback riding and it was SO MUCH FUN. It's been so long I'd forgotten how great it is. We got to canter with the horses along the trails and it was exhilarating.

Val and me

We missed the peak of the leaves changing color, but the scenery was still gorgeous. Here are some photos of the landscape.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Aviva's Dress Up Party

Aviva turned three in September and was very excited about having a dress up party with a Hello Kitty cake. We outlined a runway with balloons so after they put together their outfits they could strut their stuff. Aviva was most excited about being "in charge" of her party. It was her day, and she knew it. And took full advantage of it. Here are a few photos.

Blue Steel

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Month of Fright

We have had a lot of fun celebrating Halloween in our family this year, and it's only October 30! We get one more day. A few of the fun things we've done:

1. Carve Pumpkins with Aunt Shauri and Uncle James. The Betrothed were really, really nice and brought us dinner and pumpkins to carve last Sunday. (Which was nice, because we had been in Charlottesville for the baptism of our niece Katie -- Hurray for Katie!!!) And then they helped us carve some wicked scary pumpkins:

There really is never a good way to carve a pumpkin. It's gross, and dirty and messy. But there is a good company with which to carve a pumpkin. And never was there better pumpkin carving company than Uncle James and Aunt Shauri.

2. Max and Aviva had a Halloween parade at school. You can't tell from Aviva's pictures, but she chose to be Olivia the Pig, one of her favorite literary characters. Aviva refused to wear her piggy ears for the parade. Max was rocking the Mummy costume and was more than willing to do a mummy walk and groan upon demand.

3. We had a Halloween party at church. Max and Aviva stuck with their original costumes, and we stuffed Leo into the gorilla costume. It really is the best costume for that age group because Leo looks like a mini-King Kong with his shaking walking (see below for walking update).

We had a lot of fun at the party. Aviva and Max both won cupcakes in the cupcake walk. They also loaded up on treats in the trunk-or-treat. Sadly, Kristin's chili did not win the cook-off. I was pissed. I don't want to talk about it.

4. Leo is walking. He's only taking a few steps at a time, but it's cute. At first, he would only walk to Kristin. But then he started walking to Grandma Delsa. And finally, he now walks to me. He also runs from Aviva.

This video is a few days old. He's already much better and can walk across a room if being chased by Aviva or if he's walking to Grandma or Kristin.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Abram Jeremy Ellis Salon

When Aviva is mad at me, she insists that Abram does her hair.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Max's Birthday Party

I read design blogs. And I know very well that most of you reading this do too, so I am making myself very vulnerable by posting pictures of my child's birthday party sans Amy Atlas treat table and matching labels for the food, birthday banner, etc.

Anyway, here they are. Max wanted a camping party, so we had a fishing hole, where they caught their party favors, including a flashlight they used to go on a rock hunt in our basement. We had a tent set up in the dark basement and I brought them down there to tell ghost stories. At the perfect moment, the werewolf from last year's party showed up. Their screams were so satisfying. It made the whole party worth it.