Stencils

We had a ladies meet up last night (after Joe went to his AYSO soccer coach meeting)

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with drinks and snacks

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inspired by the “put a bird on it” episode from Portlandia.

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You can’t go wrong.

DSC00491Thank you for the backyard ambiance Stella.

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Jenny, we missed you and are praying for your nest.

DSC00490Next craft night might be herb crates (Tami??) and cheeses boards (fingers crossed).

Americana

We were visiting friends in Glendale and this was the meeting spot.DSC00451Of course, I couldn’t resist.DSC00448Sometimes I think I have an internal compass directing me towards treats.DSC00446This machine dispenses cupcakes!
DSC00447In an instant-voila! Like magic.DSC00449We ordered peanut butter chocolate and were not disappointed.DSC00450Sprinkles, Thank you for a Sunday surprise. I hope you build one in Long Beach.

 

Dodger Blue

might have inspired this photo Joe took.
DSC00421The weather was perfect for them to enjoy an afternoon game on Saturday.DSC00412 Olivine and I stayed home (she came to a study group at Starbuck’s and then took a nap).
DSC00442I love listening to them describe their adventures. Dodgers won!

Happy August!

This is our version of Pinkalicious!

Olivine

Monster Trucks

The boys (including Paul’s best friend) went to the Orange County fair last night.

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They ate snow cones in the heat

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and sat next to more friends inside the stadium.

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I am guessing it was loud and crazy

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with old cars being crushed. As Henry said with excitement “wheels flew off” and “one almost caught on fire”.

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They were thrilled!

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On the way out, they stopped in the ice house to check out the ice sculptures

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I waited up and heard all the stories about Bigfoot and the other trucks.

Summer Books

So many noteworthy moments this summer. But Paul being a reader might take first place in the “warming my heart” category. Because every time I turn around he is devouring chapter books.

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I find him up late at night, trying to finish “just one more chapter.” He has yet to discover as I did, how much fun a flashlight under the covers can be.
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He is reading at the breakfast table. If I squint I can imagine him older, reading while eating yogurt or oatmeal, just like he does now and I am reassured that he will be fine as an adult.

For all the parts of parenting I feel like I might be messing up, I am so grateful he is learning how to read for pleasure. As school has become more serious I was afraid he would develop negative associations with reading.

Some books we read together, like the one below (so good and suspenseful). Bonus: surprised to find a character named Etienne, Paul’s middle name. Score!

But for the most part he is wanting to read on his own. DSC_1564I am finding that has to do with not always being available to curl up on the couch for extended periods of time. He is also bringing books in the car to pass the time. He laughs out loud, and when asked to read dialogue and he gets the expression perfect, my heart swoons. He was just a baby. Now he is a full grown avid reader. Yes…nerd power!

DSC_1555He is even opting out of story time to find a more quiet place to read his own book. Which might be sad, but also completely understandable. He is not interested in hearing “Cat in the Hat” again.

I love reading. I loved the Babysitter’s Club and Anne of Green Gables growing up. So believe me when I say I am over the moon to hear my kid say he is interested in going to the library or wandering around a bookstore. Me too! Perfect date time.

 

Cara’s Celebration

Cara finished her doctorate from Cal State Fullerton, and is definitely a reason to celebrate.
DSC00385 Her and Madeline are friends from the Master’s Program at CSULB. Madeline just finished her admin. degree while I am inspired to go back to school. Plus, Cara just accepted a teaching position at Long Beach City College (on top of her high school English classes). Over achievers, maybe. But we have great conversations that are motivating and supportive of one another.DSC00384Cara’s mom and I have similar taste so I was all about the decor.
DSC00358A type writer
DSC00359with a hand typed note
DSC00389plus flower arrangements in old books
DSC00363and school themed favors.
DSC00391 The notebooks were an instant hit with the kidsDSC00380and yes even those..had stamped messages inside!!DSC00365The party included brunch at the Orange Hill restaurant
DSC00370with a fondue fountainDSC00387 that included dipping treats in chocolate.DSC00373You know how brunch is, we ate until we were stuffed. But I was surprised that the youngest was going strong, even when everyone else was done.DSC00393She went slow and steady, enjoying those bites of cake.
 

 

 

 

Belated Birthday

Yesterday my mom came over to celebrate my birthday. At the last minute we decided to get manicures. Except that I recently read a New York Times story that broke my heart over the conditions of many salons (particularly those that are inexpensive) and was reminded again that cheap is not always better. Especially when it comes to people and jobs.

When my mom suggested a manicure I remembered the fancy shop near my house (By fancy I mean pays people a living wage, is a local business owned and operated by women).

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And yes there are complimentary cupcakes and champagne. Love it!

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We both went a little non-traditional. My mom is the red-tipped french manicure.

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And I got a design with golden confetti ring fingers. Love it! This place is small so walk-ins are not always convenient. I called and they squeezed us in.

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Also, sometimes as a mom I am still surprised at mom skills when it comes to gift giving. So my mom clearly knows me. She doesn’t ask what I want. Once in awhile she will give me a gift card to a shop I love and just encourage me to “think selfishly” and other times it is like she went in my brain and pulled out from my sub-conscious what I really wanted.

If you  know me, then you know I love polaroids. But since having kids, I hardly ever buy myself items like this. It symbolizes life before kids when I could spend money on something very un-necessary. Now everything is mentally categorized into “need” or “want.” Although I might classify a polaroid camera as a “need” not everyone in my family would.

My mom knows none of this. So here is my confession- A good friend in San Francisco has one that I envy even from a distance. Then at Christmas last year a different friend had one. I wanted it so bad. Silver and shiny. I could almost tuck the little treasure in my bag and runaway with it (I never would). But I let it go (physically and mentally). I saw it again at Urban Outfitters. It was calling my name, mocking me, as teenagers carried them to the cashier. Sad to think by the time I can afford one the company may go out of business again. I had even resigned myself to the thought that realistically I would get a cell phone (really??) and then an instagram account before I got a polaroid camera. These are not stories I tell out loud.

Then yesterday, in a bag, I was handed one for my birthday. Only a mom would know this, without me having to say so. She knew it would make me happy on multiple levels. Thank you mom.

Because really who doesn’t love the instant gratification of tiny picture popping out of a camera and magically developing before your eyes?

Little Momma

She is still carrying babies aroundDSC_1567while doing other activities, including laughing.
DSC_1569She cracks up over every little question. Here I was trying to get her to stand still for a non-blurry photo and she kept laughing. As if the task of being serious is too much.DSC_1570Her reaction was to start dancing and closing her eyes.

 

USC Language Lab

Olivine participates in experiments involving developmental research on children.UnknownThis was the first time I thought to ask for examples of the photos they took.Unknown-2She is watching a puppet show and these are some of her expressions.Unknown-1She is also being filmed because she had to answer questions and interact with the puppets. I am fascinated by this type of research.

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